PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said Umno ministers could not count past one thousand, in response to claims he was to blame for the “low turnout” at the Bersih 5 rally.
“The capability of our ministers to count more than 1,000 is limited. After 1,000, they cannot count.
“As far I could see, there was yellow until the end of the streets, from all directions,” he said, alluding to Bersih 2.0’s official colour.
The former prime minister told reporters this at his office in Perdana Leadership Foundation here.
On Saturday, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said the presence of Mahathir and his “cronies” had led to a lower turnout during the Bersih 5 rally.
The Umno treasurer also claimed that fewer than 50,000 showed up at the rally, which he said accounted for less than 10 per cent of the crowd at last year’s Bersih 4 rally.
Organiser Bersih 2.0, however, claimed that 100,000 came to the gathering calling for institutional reforms as well as Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation.
On a separate matter, Mahathir said there was no need for Red Shirts movement leader Jamal Yunos to organise “Bersih 7”.
Bersih 2.0, he said, was “cukup Bersih” (clean enough) as supporters of the electoral reform group had kept the streets clean by picking up after themselves and disposing of rubbish responsibly.
“The dirty one is Jamal. Even if he showers 15 times a day, he still smells.”
Earlier today, Jamal, who is also the Sungai Besar Umno division leader, announced that the Red Shirts would be organising a “Bersih 7” rally in front of the State Secretariat building in Shah Alam at 3pm tomorrow.
The purpose of the rally, he explained, was to save the people of Selangor from the “clutches of the allegedly corrupt state government”.
Jamal said “Bersih 7” would raise seven key issues — the need for clean water, misappropriation of funds, cronyism, flood mitigation, affordable housing, garbage collection and the chaotic state administration.