UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said today former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had "crossed the line" with his presence yesterday at the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the former UMNO president's attendance at the gathering which the police had declared as illegal was contrary to a statement he had made in 1998 that street demonstrations should not be supported.

"I feel he has violated the principle of struggle he had adhered to all this while. His action has gone against the values he had promulgated when he was the prime minister.

"During his administration, he had clearly stated that street demonstrations were not the approach to voice dissatisfaction, what more to topple a government," Hishammuddin told reporters after opening the Sepanggar UMNO Division delegates meeting here.

Hishammuddin, who is the defence minister, said Dr Mahathir had not been prevented from expressing his opinions after his retirement but his presence at an opposition-led rally was unacceptable.