Monday, July 7, 2008

But Hatta hails rally a success

But Hatta hails rally a success
Rahmah Ghazali | Jul 7, 08 4:40pm

Although some quarters view the ‘one million people’ protest as a failure, Coalition Against Inflation (Protes) coordinator Hatta Ramli has insisted that it was a ‘success’.

Met in Parliament lobby today, the Kuala Krai MP said he was satisfied with the turnout, saying it could have been better if the police had not issued numerous warnings against attending the event.

“They (the police) said it was an illegal gathering but to be fair, we never applied for a permit,” he said.

“The police set up roadblocks. It was one of the factors why we couldn’t reach our one million target but we are satisfied with what we had.”

He estimated that 70,000 people turned out throughout the rally, which was held at the Kelana Jaya stadium yesterday from 10am to midnight.

Hatta said the ‘picnic’ atmosphere had enabled families to take part in the rally in a different environment.

“The people had an opportunity to listen to speeches by politicians and even NGOs,” said Hatta.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa and the star of the day – PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim - addressed the crowd.

Hatta claimed that the protest has sent a strong signal to the government that people can no longer tolerate fuel price hikes.

While the coalition has not set a deadline for the government’s response, it expects swift action in reducing fuel prices.

“Otherwise, the coalition and Pakatan Rakyat will discuss another course of action - which is to take to the streets again,” he added.

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