By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s scheduled meeting with Malaysians in London last night took a surprising turn when the prime minister was interrupted with repeated chants of “Bersih” from several attendees as controversy continues over the violence during the April 28 Bersih rally.”
The event, “An evening with the prime minister”, was organised by the Malaysian High Commission at the grand 02 Arena in the British capital, which has a maximum capacity of 2,000 people.
The chanting from the crowd began when Najib (picture) took to the stage and continued for a good few minutes after he began his speech.
A YouTube clip uploaded just a few hours ago showed a visibly-annoyed Najib raising his right hand and telling the crowd to stop the “Bersih” chants.
“Can you please stop it? Can you stop it, please?
“I know, I know, but can you stop it? You can meet with me later, okay? Please, can you stop it?” Najib pleaded to which someone from the audience replied “I want to vote... Why you don’t allow me to vote.”
“No, no, no, okay... all right, all right, you... no, no, you wait for me,” Najib responded.
“You have to respect lah...,” the man told the PM.
The chanting died soon after and Najib was able to continue his speech.
A group calling itself “Malaysians United” had circulated an email prior to the event telling people to attend Najib’s function and to “catch the Bersih moment.”
“When it happens (whether early, middle or late into the event), capture it on your mobile phones’ video recorder, and join in if you want to! We have an in-house video editor who will be ready and waiting for your photo snaps/video clips,” said the email.
Najib has asserted the April 28 rally was an attempt to oust his administration, a claim that has been echoed by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Despite an initially peaceful start to the rally, Bersih’s third since 2007, police took action later that day which some civil society movements and media have condemned as more brutal than those employed during last July’s Bersih gathering.
The Bersih rally, which saw tens of thousands gather at six different locations before heading to Dataran Merdeka, was peaceful until about 2.30pm when Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan asked the crowd to disperse.
But her announcement was not heard by most of the crowd who continued to linger around the historic square which the court had already ruled as being inaccessible to the public over that particular weekend.