Monday, 30 December 2013

Lo: Planned protests against rising living costs dangerous

Lo Khere Chiang (pic)

KUCHING: Planned protests against the rise in living costs do not reflect the opinions of the majority of the people, and it could lead to unwanted consequences.

Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang said this when met by reporters after officiating at the ‘MPP with the Community of Kampung Rantau Panjang 2013’ programme.

“Concerning these recent events in and around the country, where people gather to voice their unhappiness and objections, I think the rakyat have to be careful. We have to understand this is not what the majority of the people in this country want.

“Do we want to be like Thailand, countries in the Western World and also in the Arabic World? At first it is ‘perhimpunan’ (gathering), then it becomes a riot, then people die. This is not what people want.

“What we want in this country is what we (already) have, namely peace and harmony. We have been living happily as brothers and sisters and we should continue like that. I believe this is what the majority of the people want.”

Lo also pointed out that the quality of life now had much improved over the years, resulting in more people able to own assets like houses and cars, and that quality education was much more accessible with the presence of dozens of public and private tertiary educations in the country.

Lo was asked to comment on media reports of a proposed Dec 31 gathering at Padang Merdeka organised by a non-government organisation to protest the hike in costs of living.

The protest in Kuching mirrors a larger protest organised by a student activist group called Reduce Cost of Living Movement (Turun) in Kuala Lumpur, which is also planned for New Year’s Eve.

The group has denied allegations that the protest is masking an attempt to overthrow the government.

Meanwhile, Lo said Malaysia, particularly Sarawak, should reject attempts to defy the government as it was not the culture.

“We should not encourage our young people to have `perhimpunan’ and go against the government. This is not our culture. This is certainly not the culture of Malaysians in general. All peace-loving Malaysians should object to this kind of rally to topple the government.

“We have open elections and we are living in a democratic country. We should not have this kind of behaviour. This is certainly not what peace loving Malaysians want in this country – certainly not. We should all reject this kind of politics and behaviour in this country, especially in Sarawak,” he said. - theborneopost

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