Street demonstrations have always been our culture just like how Umno has demonstrated against the British before independence, said Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.
She was refuting Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak comment this morning that street demonstrations did not reflect Malaysian culture.
"Umno would not have survived (today) if they hadn’t gone to the streets.
"If you remember how we won independence, we were on the streets, right at the beginning of our history.
"So it is part of our right to dissent. A street demonstration has always been our culture," Maria Chin told a press conference today at Bersih's office.
She said Bersih demonstrations is a way to show the government that the people are serious about wanting change.
"Why did we want street demonstrations (in the past)? Because we couldn't get what we want at the end of the day, and we wanted to show to the British at that time (we were serious about independence).
"And now, we want to show the government that people are serious for change, so it is part and parcel of our struggle for independence.
"And now we are struggling for a new Malaysia…" said Maria Chin.
Bersih is organising its fifth rally this Saturday to call for free and fair elections and for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak over the growing 1MDB scandal.
Last year's Bersih 4 saw over 100,000 gather in the heart of Kuala Lumpur over two days to make similar demands.