PETALING JAYA: As Pakatan Rakyat prepares for a mammoth rally dubbed “Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat” (People’s Uprising Rally) on Jan 12 at Stadium Merdeka, a BN-friendly party is also scheduled to hold a massive rally on the same day.
The All Malaysia Indian Progressive Front better known as IPF confirmed that the party was planning a rally on Jan 12, at Dataran Tesco, in Semenyih where Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is expected to be the guest of honour.
Speaking to FMT, party president M Sambanthan, who is also director of the rally, said the gathering was to show support for BN’s attempt to retake Selangor in the 13th general election.
“The peaceful assembly is really important to IPF. It is the time for us to show our adherence to the prime minister and BN,” he said.
He said IPF would mobilise 20,000 people to attend the rally and this would send ” a strong message to Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor that Indians were unhappy with the opposition coalition.”
“We have informed all our branches to mobilise support for the rally. We hope the rally would be peaceful,” he said.
Sambanthan also quashed speculation that the IPF rally was to counter Pakatan’s Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat also planned on the same day at Stadium Merdeka.
“This is not something we planned just last week. We started planning for it since last year and the prime minister gave the date some three months ago. Some Pakatan leaders are going around saying our rally is to counter their rally. IPF’s rally does not have anything to do with their rally,” he said.
Recently, Pakatan announced that it would hold a mega rally on Jan 12, which is expected to draw some 100,000 supporters.
Although the stadium authorities have yet to give the opposition front the green light to use the venue, they have planned for a countdown to the rally on Jan 11 at the Sultan Sulaiman Club and then march to the historic stadium.
Meanwhile, a splinter group in IPF led by M Mathialagan insisted that IPF would contest as independents in the upcoming election.
Mathialagan, who was the party vice-president during MG Pandithan’s era, claims to be the head of the party following an internal squabble.
“We have discussed about this matter in the party central committee meeting and we will make an official stand at the party’s annual general meeting next month,” he said.
He said that his camp would meet the prime minister next week to submit a 20-point demand for the betterment of the Indians.