The police chief says that the Merdeka Day celebrations should not be politicised, but A Samad Said argues that the colour yellow is not banned.
PETALING JAYA: Electoral watchdog Bersih will not be discouraged by Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar’s caution not to don yellow at the Merdeka Day countdown celebrations.
Speaking to FMT, Bersih co-chairperson and national laureate A Samad Said stressed that the colour yellow was not banned and the people had the right to wear colours of their choice.
He also said that Ismail had made the wrong assumption that Bersih was politically inclined, saying that the movement was championing free and fair elections.
“The IGP’s statement is wrong because Bersih assists politicians,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah said the police chief should not be issuing threats.
“We are not politicising the matter [Merdeka Day] celebrations,” she added.
This morning, Ismail had cautioned those planning to wear yellow on that day not to turn the celebrations into a political event.
Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat, who would be attending the gathering in his individual capacity, was shocked with the IGP’s statement.
“I am shocked at the level of the IGP’s common sense. National Day is the most political day in the country. Take out politics and what do you have?” he asked.
He also queried the actions that the police would take.
“Are you going to strip those who are wearing yellow?” he asked, adding that he was prepared to be arrested for ushering the Merdeka celebrations in yellow.
Warga Aman, which was one of the participating NGOs in the event, said the Bersih yellow T-shirt was similar to a uniform.
“The Bersih shirt to us is similar to the uniforms used by the police and military during the Merdeka Day parade. It is to say that we are with Bersih,” said Warga Aman’s secretary general S Barathidasan.