Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak today thanked Pakatan Rakyat for its conduct during last Saturday's mega-rally, which he believes exemplifies the success of BN's political and governmental reforms.
"I say thank you to the opposition, though I don't agree with them, for respecting the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act," Najib said when opening a law conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
"What happened shows that our islah, or reforms that we do, are spot on."
Najib also praised the authorities for their professional conduct during the incident-free rally that saw more than 100,000 people flooding the Merdeka Stadium and its immediate vicinity.
The prime minister's gentlemanly praise of the opposition was, however, not shared by the other BN personalities who acidly attacked the rally and its organisers.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (left) dismissed the rally and its success as " no big deal ".
Even during the rally on Saturday, Khairy was busy on microblog Twitter, belittling the over-100,000 attendance figure as only a fraction of the promised one million crowd.
He said the total number of people who attended Umno's 66th anniversary celebration last year, which lasted 13 days, surpassed those who attended the rally.
Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad described last Saturday's rally as an attempt to topple the governmen t, in a mimicry of what happened in the Arab Spring.
Mahathir said the organisers could not win through the general election.
"So they hope to topple the present government by copying the Arab countries. But Malaysia is not like them, we don't have a dictatorship, our government is chosen by the people," sniped the veteran leader.
Last Saturday's mammoth rally was the second largest public gathering in recent history, after last year's Bersih 3.0.
What made the rally extra special was the fact that it was incident-free, with the police allowing the gathering by acting as facilitators and rally organisers succsessfully coordinating and managing the participants.
No arrest or untoward incident was recorded.
The opposition in the country usually faces tremendous resistance and interference from the authorities when it tries to organise ceramah sessions and public gatherings, with the police generally taking a hostile stance.
While the more rowdy opposition supporters have been known to intentionally provoke the police or pro-government supporters during such gatherings, gangs of thuggish BN diehards have more than once disrupted opposition events, at times violently.
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