A group of activists from the northern region heading for the Sogo protest rally against injustice in KL today have expressed disappointment with the Penang government’s instruction to its elected reps to stay put in Penang.
The state government reportedly wants its elected reps to remain in their respective constituencies to oversee the launch of this year’s programme of cash handouts to senior citizens in their respective constituencies. The Chief Minister said he himself would not be attending the rally in KL as he had to be at a programme in his own constituency.
A group calling itself Sekretariat #KitaLawan Utara said they were disappointed with this position. “Himpunan 307 adalah kebangkitan rakyat menentang rejim BN. Kerajaan PR Pulau Pinang berjaya dibentuk kerana kuasa rakyat, kenapa sekarang tidak bersama rakyat?” it said in a statement. It urged the Penang elected reps to state their individual stand on whether they would attend the rally.
“I am sad, really, really sad and lost for (polite) words,” said one Penang-based activist. “Just look at all the repercussions and disappointment written in social media from young PR supporters.”
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng later clarified that the state government was not opposed to the #KitaLawan rally. He was reported as saying that a general instruction had been issued to all Penang state assembly members to be present at the cash handout ceremony in their respective constituencies this weekend.
But Penang PKR’s elected reps have reportedly indicated that they would be attending the rally. They said they had not been given any instruction or warning not to attend. PKR is also holding its party convention at Shah Alam today. They said they would leave it to their assistants to handle the cash handouts to senior citizens.
Meanwhile, Pas has not given any directive to its members to attend the rally, but one Pas grassroots leader said he believed Mat Sabu’s supporters and the party’s Unit Amal members would be attending the rally.
Solidarity rallies are expected to be held in 10 other cities around the world: Adelaide, Canberra, Geneva, Melbourne, London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, Taipei and Washington.