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KUALA LUMPUR - A government can even be toppled with mineral water bottles if it does not enjoy the support of the people, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
He told Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) not to underestimate salt and water as the governments that fell in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya were brought down just by handphones.
"Don't underrate. If the government is not supported by the people, not only handphones, even bottles will do (to topple the government).
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"There was no bomb or anything, they fell just with handphones," he said in reply to Lim who asked for evidence supporting the government's claim that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a coup attempt by the opposition.
Lim asked Nazri to explain why the government accused the rally as an attempt to topple the government when the participants only carried salt and mineral water bottles.
"Is the Barisan Nasional government that weak? It can collapse just with salt and mineral water?" asked Lim.
Nazri said the Bersih rally was an attempt by the opposition to bring down the government in an undemocratic way using similar tactics like those used in Tahrir Square in Egypt and in Tunisia.
"Dataran Merdeka was chosen because of its historical significance. At midnight of Aug 31, 1957, at the same location, the Union Jack flag was brought down and Jalur Gemilang was raised.
"Although Stadium Merdeka was offered as an alternative, as a rally there will not disrupt public order, it was rejected for illogical reasons.
"This means the organiser indeed wanted for Bersih 3.0 to be held at Dataran Merdeka knowing that Kuala Lumpur City Hall would not allow it," he said.
Nazri said the organiser was being stubborn, resulting in the confrontation with the authorities who have acted within their jurisdiction, under existing laws, including the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
He said the organiser's refusal to compromise in terms of rally location and the violent actions by some Bersih participants reflected their actual intention to provoke the authorities.
"They wanted to use the incident to prove to people in Malaysia and the international community that the Malaysian government has acted wildly and inhumanely towards a so-called peace rally.