Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon has slammed the “burger protest” and the “butt dance” incidents outside Bersih chief S Ambiga’s house as “crude and insensitive”.
“Besides observing the rule of law, moderation, decency and sensitivity must be practised in exercising the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Koh said in a statement today.
Some religious leaders, he said, have expressed their concern and disgust at the actions of the respective parties, who had held demonstrations in front of the Bersih leader’s private residence.
“Just as I do not agree with street demonstrations as a means of expression, I also do not agree with such protests, in whatever way, outside the homes of leaders and individuals,” said Koh, who is also minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
He noted that the peddling of beef burgers outside Ambiga’s home was “crude and insensitive” as the latter is Hindu as well as a vegetarian.
“There are other more constructive and positive ways to express our dissatisfaction. In doing o, we must practise moderation, or wasatiyah in Islam, and keep in mind religious and cultural sensitivities,” he said.
Koh added that the burger protest has likely contravened Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) regulations as the lawyer’s home is “not in a designated hawking area”.
The Gerakan chief is the first BN leader to publicly condemn the acts after a conspicuous silence from the ruling party.
On Tuesday, army veterans staged a protest against the rally for clean and fair elections by doing ‘ butt exercises ’ in front of Ambiga’s house.
This follows a highly criticised ' burger protes t' last week by a KL hawkers’ group Ikhlas, which claimed that the mammoth Bersih 3.0 for electoral reform had affected their business.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has slammed the hawkers’ protest for abusing the freedom to assemble by violating Ambiga’s private space .
Meanwhile, deputy police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the protests were not an offence as they were conducted in “public space”.
Manogaran: Show butt against corruption
Koh's views are also shared by DAP's Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran ( below ), who described the exercises in front of Ambiga’s house as unnecessary and insensitive.
“If they are so concerned for the country’s safety and well-being why not they show their butt against all the corrupted people and corruption in the country.
"I want to ask these cowards whether it is a Malaysian culture or a Malay culture to show your butts in the manner as they have done, especially in front of a lady's home,” he said in a statement.
“I urge these groups to fight corruption, cronyism, crime rate and other evils taking place in the country.
"This practice of going to private houses of individuals to protest must stop.
"I would like to warn those protesting at private houses that it would not take too long for others to protest in front of your houses.
"If anything happens to Ambiga’s safety and well-being we hold the police and the government responsible,” he said.