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Both sides lodge reports after participants harassed at Women’s March
Published:  Mar 11, 2018 3:15 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2018 9:31 AM

Police reports have been lodged over a harassment incident that occurred after yesterday’s Women’s March in Kuala Lumpur.

Women’s March committee member Yuva Balan told Malaysiakini yesterday that a group of the participants were walking to their cars when they were approached by several men who “verbally abused them” and snatched their placards.

A video of the incident has since surfaced on social media, which appears to have been recorded by one of the men.

In the one minute and 40 second video clip, the man behind the camera can be heard shouting from across the street to the participants, who were walking past the Dang Wangi police district headquarters.

“We are anti-LGBT. We are against LGBT, Allahuakbar.

“LGBT is not allowed in Malaysia. We are not a liberal country,” the man shouted.

The video then shows a few men, along with the one recording the video, running down their side of the road and yelling at the participants to stop.

They then crossed the road and a few of the men are shown snatching the placards from the participants, who had stopped walking once they were confronted by the men.

“(We are) against LGBT,” the man recording said to the participants as he neared them.

Read more: 'Destroy rape culture! Death to patriarchy!' rings out at women's march

The six participants then denied that they were part of the LGBT community.

One of the men who had snatched their placards then said, “We have already lodged a police report. Give us (the placards) to give to the police.”

“Take their pictures,” the man said, before taking another one of the participants’ placards from their hands.

“Please, no more LGBT in Malaysia,” he added.

The video clip, which has since been deleted, was uploaded by a Facebook user named or “Ridzuan Radin Tiger Alan” or “Alan Ridzuan Radin,” who claims to be a Subang Umno Youth division exco member. 

The video was accompanied by images of the men standing in front of the Dang Wangi police district headquarters, as well as their police report. 

Alan Ridzuan also uploaded a series of images with a caption saying that the men had lodged a report in protest against the “illegal” gathering yesterday, which was attended by those who he termed “liberal pro-LGBT.”

He also noted that they had “confiscated” their participants’ placards.

However, the personal details of the person who lodged the report, who claims to be president of the Persekutuan Melayu Bugis Se-Malaysia and several other NGOs, were obscured in the uploaded image.

Malaysiakini has attempted to contact the Facebook user to confirm the identity of the individual who lodged the report.

Alan Ridzuan further claimed on Facebook that the march participants were hiding behind a human rights agenda, and were actually protesting against the ruling system as well as bringing religious pluralism and LGBT practices into the country.

He also stated in the report that the march was in violation of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

‘Cowardly thuggery’

Meanwhile, Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) acting executive director Yu Ren Chung lodged a police report on the same incident, also at the Dang Wangi police district headquarters.

In the report sighted by Malaysiakini, he said six WAO staff members and volunteers were walking back from the Women's March when they heard shouts from four unknown men across the street.

Three of the men then crossed the street and then blocked the WAO staffers from leaving the area, before their placards were snatched.

“(The participants) felt threatened and scared because of that incident. At that time, they were afraid that (one of the men) might hit them,” he said in the report.

In an official statement today, WAO condemned the incident and called it “cowardly thuggery.”

“Women’s democratic and constitutional rights must not be diminished by gender-based harassment and intimidation,” it said.

It urged the government to fulfil its international obligations by ensuring the safety of women human rights activists, as well as taking immediate action against the perpetrators.

“Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly every day to support domestic violence survivors and advocate for gender equality.

“When confronted with aggression, they reacted calmly and peacefully,” WAO said.

Yesterday, about 150 people marched from Sogo to Masjid Jamek against oppression against women in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8.

The participants had five demands, namely the elimination of gender discrimination; an end to rape culture and sexual violence; equal opportunities and wages; strengthening women’s participation in politics and democracy for all; and stopping the destruction of the environment.

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