Source : Malaysiakini
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today labelled the day-long anti-oil hike rally yesterday as a failure because of the poor turnout.
He said that the rally, organised by the Coalition Against Inflation (Protes) at the Kelana Jaya stadium, had failed to achieve its target of one million people.
Protes estimated 30,000 people were in the stadium at the peak of the rally last night to hear PKR de facto Anwar Ibrahim speak, turning the football field into a sea of red T-shirts.
"The people did not turn up in the numbers expected. Only the hardcore supporters were there," Najib was quoted as saying in Bernama today.
Najib said demonstrations were not the way to solve problems because they only served to vent one's feelings and did not offer realistic and practical solutions.
"(We need) realistic and practical solutions, achieved not by being unrealistic or having to sacrifice long-term interests for short-term gain," he said.
He added that the opposition's suggestion that all Petronas' money be used to reduce the fuel price was unrealistic and would have long-term repercussions on the national oil company.
This was because Petronas would not be able to use the money for re-investment if all its funds were used to subsidise the petrol price, he said.
Home Minister agrees as well
Najib said the government was monitoring the fuel price hike issue and its socio-economic and political impact on the nation.
The government was always working to ease the burden of the people in a challenging scenario posed by the increasing world oil price trend, he added.
Meanwhile, at another function, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar also similarly dismissed the rally as a gainless event.
"We do not condone such gatherings because they can invite uncivilised acts. Do the opposition parties want to encourage such activities? What is the benefit from these?" he asked after attending his ministry's monthly gathering in Putrajaya today.
"Whatever we want to do must be within the confines of the law. We cannot do anything we like. And, when the police act, they will be accused of being unfair and partial," he added.