Aug 3, 2009

Tun Mahathir : Street demonstrations not best option

Street demonstrations are not part of Malaysian culture, but something that was introduced by PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUANTAN: Street demonstrations are not part of the Malaysian culture and there are other ways to champion a cause, according to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said yesterday that Parti Keadilan Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had "introduced" the culture as a "weapon" to protest issues.

There were other options, he said, such as calling for an in-depth review of the Internal Security Act. Taking the protest to the streets was not the best way to pressure the government to review the act.

Dr Mahathir also said any review of the ISA must take into account the prevailing situation.

"All laws should be reviewed from time to time to ensure they are suited to the times. Not all laws can become obsolete," he told reporters after a session of "A moment with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad" here, organised by Mubarak, the association for former elected representatives.

Dr Mahathir was accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, at the function. Also present was Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement on Saturday that the government was gathering feedback on the ISA and was preparing to review it.

On the Barisan Nasional's chances in the upcoming Permatang Pasir by-election, the former prime minister said BN could win if it succeeded in regaining the people's support.

"BN's performance in the Manik Urai by-election was good. BN has a chance."

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