Umno must rein in the actions of its Sungai Besar division chief Jamal Md Yunos, said Klang MP Charles Santiago, after Jamal and his group of ‘Red Shirts’ clashed with Bersih supporters yesterday.
He said it was about time Jamal was reprimanded for his bullying of Bersih supporters, and as he is an Umno leader, the party has the responsibility of reining in his behaviour.
“Failure of the ruling party to do so can only mean that Umno leaders are also in cahoots with Jamal and his gang of goons.
“The police must also investigate Jamal's thuggish behaviour and that of his gang, as they are always quick to clamp down on the federal opposition leaders and human rights workers.
“It's about time Jamal learns that he must be accountable for his conduct and can't always be let off the hook,” he said in a statement today.
He said that while it was within Jamal’s democratic rights to oppose the Bersih 5 rally to be held in November and its convoy, attempting to grab its banners crossed the line.
He also noted reports of Red Shirts tailing Bersih’s convoy, attempting to pull its flags from the convoy, kicking the cars, and punching the side mirrors of Bersih’s vehicles.
“This is hooliganism and amounts to a threat as well,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gerakan deputy youth chief Andy Yong said the confrontation between the ‘Red Shirts’ and Bersih’s ‘Yellow Shirts’ must stop.
“I am not taking sides, but like it or not, generally people label or perceive the Red Shirts are from Umno to defend the Malays and the yellow shirts are from the opposition.
“This is preposterous politics, which is very unhealthy to our country,” he said in a statement today.
He said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is an advocate of moderation, and moreover, most Malaysians simply want peace and harmony.
“To think of man in terms of yellow or red and race or religion is more than an error. It is an eye disease, a cancer of the soul,” he added.
Police inaction lamented
Meanwhile, Perak Amanah youth communications director Muhammad Faeez Azahar expressed regret over yesterday’s altercation, and lamented police inaction while the Red Shirts acted with impunity.
“What saddened us is that the police on duty failed to act when the group’s thuggish actions took place before their eyes. The police should have acted swiftly against the Red Shirts who were threatening the safety of the convoy participants.
“The police are said to be acting more like photographers and videographers, while the main job of the police at the time is to take action against any individuals who are engaging in criminal behaviour or are breaking the law,” he said in a statement today.
He expressed hope that the police would crack down on the Red Shirts to safeguard the police’s credibility, and that such incidents do not recur.
Segambut MP Lim Eng also condemned the police inaction.
“The police must be reminded that they are responsible for any untoward incidents throughout Bersih 5’s seven-week convoy, if Jamal and his group of thugs are not arrested following yesterday’s clashes in Teluk Intan,” he said in a statement today.
The Bersih movement is holding its Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19, and a nationwide convoy before that to promote the event.
Jamal had vowed to hold a counter-demonstration against the Bersih 5 rally at whatever time and place the Bersih 5 rally is held.
Yesterday morning, some 30 to 40 motorbikes of Red Shirts supposedly followed and attacked the Bersih convoy’s vehicles in Lumut.
The two groups clashed again in Teluk Intan later that day, where Jamal is said to have tried to snatch a banner from Bersih supporters.
Several Bersih supporters were reported to have suffered minor injuries in the scuffle.
Elsewhere in the country however, Bersih’s convoy had gone on more peacefully. In Arau, the national laureate A Samad Said who was with the Bersih convoy there was even seen shaking hands with a group of Red Shirts.