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Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu causes a stir in the blogosphere

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Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Sept 16, 2015: Several prominent bloggers were surprised over the huge crowd that turned out at yesterday’s Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu (HRB).

Datuk Ahirudin Attan wrote in his popular blog Rocky’s Bru that the number of people at the rally had exceeded his expectations.

“I did not join the red shirt rally but I was hoping that their number wouldn’t be too small as to be embarrassing. I certainly did not expect it to be huge. Not this huge.

“What does it prove? That with enough dose of provocation, the Malays, who formed the majority of Red Shirts today, will go out and march too.

“If Bersih 4.0, which was predominantly Chinese, can draw 50,000 people, the Red can bring as many if not more,”  Ahirudin wrote.

He added that if Bersih participants wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to quit there are also others who can demand for Najib to stay in office.

“Now where does it get us? Nowhere.

An anonymous blogger, Annie who blogs at ‘Life of Annie’, like Rocky, was also astonished on the number of Malays participated in the assembly.

She even admitted that HRB was a “success”.

“Maybe it didn’t restore the Malay’s dignity which its organisers claimed they were championing, but in terms of turn-out, it seems to match the rival Bersih 4.0 which was dominated by members of the Chinese community.

“I’m still against street rallies though, either it be in red or yellow.

“But I guess these rallies will from now on be a new culture of our society,” Annie wrote in her latest blog posting.

Nonetheless, she was worried the rallies are making the Malaysian society more racially polarised than ever.

“The rally today, despite its Malay rights undertone being somewhat muted by the organisers, was still meant to tell the Chinese who dominated the rival Bersih 4.0 rally that the Malays are still in charge of this country.

“That’s to me is not a good indication of what the future lies for this multi-racial country,” she wrote.

HRB rally was organised by Pesaka and over 200 non-governmental organisations including the Organisation of Islamic Welfare and Dakwah of Malaysia (Pekida), Persatuan Pribumi Perkasa (Perkasa) and the Federation of Malaysian National Writers Associations (Gapena).

Police had estimated the crowd at 30, 000 while its organiser claimed that there were more than 250, 000 participants.

The assembly was held so as to counter the recently staged Bersih 4.0 illegal rally last month.

Anonymous blogger, A Voice, via his blog, ‘Another Brick in The Wall’, deemed the huge Malay crowd at HRB was a sign for Najib to be “a gentleman and go for the vote of no confidence (in parliament) in early October.”

He was of the opinion that where the “yellow ones” (Bersih 4.0 participants) demanded Najib to quit, the “red ones” (HRB participants) are demanding him to stay.

“Yellow ones are not the only people power in town. The red ones are also the voices of people power and holding power.

“It (vote of no confidence) is a good test on Najib’s leadership. If he succeeds, he has legitimacy to stay and let the people decide on him in the next general election,” the blogger wrote.

However, several other bloggers known for their anti-establishment stance were appalled with the rally yesterday.

Syed Akbar Ali who blogs at ‘Outsyed The Box’, ridiculed the assembly goers and even called the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ahmad Maslan as “wakil otak lembu” (a Malay derogatory phrase to describe an idiot).

Syed Akbar in his posting, claimed that the assembly had taken a heavy toll on the country’s economy.

“Hundreds of millions of ringgit were lost. Stores had to be closed, traders, the people and foreign tourists cannot shop or even by daily necessities,” he wrote in his blog.

Pahang DAP member of parliament for Raub Datuk Mohamad Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, took things even further when he wrote in his blog Sakmongkol AK47 that the HRB was staged by Najib.

“You can be sure he staged the whole thing. And had the gall and behaved sanctimonious to say he is shocked to see the gathering took place peacefully.

“I am told of phone calls in the dead of the night to some high level Umno leaders inquiring whether everything is in order for the march of the red guards (HRB participants),” he wrote.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.