|Datuk Jamal Md Yunos with Bersih 4.0 supporters. — File pic|
KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 - Restaurant owner Datuk Jamal Md Yunos today dismissed claims he would profit from the coming 'Bersih 4.0' gathering, insisting instead that the luxury cars offered as lucky draw giveaways were merely his way of "thanking" the public for supporting his "peace-loving" cause.
Earlier today, DAP leaders had claimed the trader would rake in millions of ringgit by asking the public to spend RM50 in a single receipt at his restaurant - Sekinchan Ikan Bakar - to participate in the lucky draw.
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But Jamal, who leads the "Bersih 4.0" gathering pointed out that if he were truly out to make a profit for himself, he would not be offering a 30 per cent discount at his restaurant for those who "like" the "Bersih 4.0 Cintakan Keamanan" Facebook page.
"If DAP did their calculations properly, they would have realised that not all of those enjoying the 30 per cent discount are interested in joining the lucky draw, nor will they necessarily spend RM50," Jamal told The Malaysian Insider.
"My offers of the discount as well as the Lamborghini and BMW lucky draw prizes are just my way of thanking those who love peace and support my cause," he stressed.
The Bersih 4.0 gathering, which will be held at Stadium Bukit Jalil on June 23, is part of the on-going protest by traders to demand compensation for alleged losses incurred during the April 28 rally.
Jamal pointed out today that by protesting against Bersih, he was more likely to incur losses than gain millions of ringgit as many Facebook users have announced they are boycotting his restaurant.
"Why am I risking my business? I will gain nothing from this, I am wasting my time.
"But I am actually doing this because, otherwise, people will be holding demonstrations every week," he said.
He said that as a businessman who had "started from the bottom", he knew how difficult it was to work as a trader in Kuala Lumpur, and was thus compelled to take a stand.
"When launching Bersih 4.0, our purpose was to inform those Malaysians who broke the law (by taking part in the Bersih rally) that they should not repeat their mistake.
"The lucky draw is my way of thanking those who support peace in Kuala Lumpur," he reiterated.
Jamal said his decision yesterday to find 100 lawyers to provide free legal aid to traders who suffered loss during the rally was further proof he was not joining the cause for his own personal gains.
He also warned political parties, whether DAP or Umno, to not politicise the issue as he claimed he was non-partisan.
"Do not turn this into a political issue. Does DAP not like peace? Does only Umno want peace?" he said.
Yesterday, Jamal told reporters at a press conference that the Bersih 4.0 group will be visiting Stadium Bukit Jalil on Monday to obtain clearance to set up stalls outside the stadium for the June 23 gathering.
“Chinese traders have said they will donate five Modenas motorcycles, as part of a lucky draw prize for whoever enters and supports our Facebook page," he said.
The Anti-Bersih traders also said they will sue the organisers of last month’s Bersih 3.0 rally, claiming it caused them “extensive” financial losses.
On Thursday, 60-odd traders clad in “Bersih 4.0” t-shirts cancelled their plans to set up stalls in front of Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan’s residence, saying the upcoming June 23 gathering to be held at Stadium Bukit Jalil will be used to push their “message of peace” and rejection of “Bersih 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.”
“We will carry on our struggle with having a Bersih 4.0 gathering in Stadium Bukit Jalil.
“150,000 or more people are expected to attend,” Jamal told reporters.
He said stalls would be set up outside the stadium to allow traders to conduct their businesses.
Several luxury cars including a Lamborghini would also be given out to participants of the gathering as a show of "appreciation" for their support, said Jamal.
When asked how petty traders could afford to come up with luxury cars for the June 23 event, Jamal said:
"As individuals we do have losses but when we unite we can give out these gifts no matter how many million ringgit.
Earlier in the week, the federal government announced it is suing the steering committee of Bersih 2.0 for damages amounting to RM122,000 that it asserts was the result of the April 28 rally organised by the electoral reform movement.