There will be chaos if the #TangkapMalaysianOfficial1 (TMO1) rally protesters and the Red Shirts were to march on the same day. It is wishful thinking to say there will be no problem if both rallies were held at the same time on Aug 27.
TMO1 rally group’s spokesperson, Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, says the black-and-white themed rally would take place from 2pm to 5pm on that Saturday. She anticipates a crowd of 5,000.
Throwing their support behind this group of protesters are electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0, Pakatan Harapan’s Youth wing, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Lawyers for Liberty, Persatuan Hak Asasi Manusia Kebangsaan (Hakam) and Sisters in Islam.
Anis Syafiqah welcomes the counter rally announced by Gerakan Merah president Mohd Ali Baharom, also known as Ali Tinju. “If possible, maybe we can even assemble together to call for the arrest of MO1,” she says.
Bersih also says it has problem facing the Red Shirts during the TMO1 rally on Saturday, as long as it remains peaceful. “If the red shirts do come, they can turn up, but do it in a peaceful manner … respect peaceful assembly,” says Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.
Citing the Bersih 4 rally which was held last August, Chin says it demonstrated that a large-scale rally could be held peacefully without any violence or untoward incident.
“Everyone has the right of expression, but peacefully. We have already done it before, so it should be the norm from now on,” she says.
The TMO1 rally is planned to pressure the authorities to arrest and charge the “Malaysian Official 1” named in the US Justice Department’s civil suits in relation to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.
The Red Shirts are aligned to the biggest political party in the country and one of their key persons in charge is Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Jamal Yunos. They have announced their intention to hold a counter-rally against TMO1 on the same day and at the same location.
On the counter rally, Anis says she respects their right to assemble, but hopes no untoward incident would take place over the course of the rally. “If possible, maybe we can even assemble together to call for the arrest of MO1,” she says.
How is that possible? The Red Shirts will be marching against the TMO1. They are against what the TMO1 rally is trying to achieve. Ali Tinju has said some 5,000 supporters may be deployed to counter the TMO1 rally.
We know that it will tough for the police to control the opposing rallies if the protesters were to come face to face. Whatever good intentions they harbour, the possibility of clashes is real.
Chances are that these opposing groups of people would turn into angry mobs of uncontrollable fury. We have seen how even sports supporters could turn on each other over a game if they breach each other designated zones.
What more when bigger things at stake. All it needs is some hot heads on either sides or agent provocateurs to turn unruly and we will have mayhem on our streets. The police wouldn’t allow it. It is a calculated move to stop the TMO1 rally.