A group of 32 NGOs, some of which are part of the Bersih coalition, have urged inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar to order an immediate investigation against red shirts movement leader Jamal Md Yunos.
Following this, the NGOs said Jamal, who is also Sungai Besar Umno division chief, should be arrested and charged with purported violence and criminal intimidation with regard to the attack on participants of the Bersih 5 convoy over the weekend.
They said red-shirts protesters had tailed the Bersih 5 convoy in Lumut, pulled flags from the vehicles, kicked the cars and damaged the vehicles’ side mirrors.
In Teluk Intan, the NGOs said the Bersih convoy was blocked by red shirts protesters led by Jamal, who attempted to snatch a banner from three participants and assaulted one of them in the process.
“A few Bersih participants were hurt during the scuffle that ensued. We strongly condemn such thuggish and violent actions by Jamal and his supporters.
“They behaved like gangsters as if they were above the law and even the police could not touch them,” added the NGOs in a statement.
The failure to apprehend and prosecute Jamal, cautioned the NGOs, would send the message that Malaysia is governed by thugs instead of the rule of law.
“We are disappointed with the police in Lumut and Teluk Intan, who did nothing to prevent the red-shirts’ violent acts from taking place.
“We are shocked that Jamal and the others are able to walk free after such violence in broad daylight with so many witnesses.
“Where is the IGP who immediately tweets orders to his men to make an arrest when someone merely posts an opinion on issues of public interest online?” they asked.
The NGOs said while Jamal and his supporters are entitled to their opinion and the right to disagree, they should however do so in a peaceful manner without resorting to violence.
“Jamal is clearly in breach of the law by harming others physically and should have been arrested by now.
“One must question if Jamal is getting political endorsement for such actions from the powers-that be if no criminal charges are pressed against him,” they added.
On the same note, the NGOs commended the police in other areas of the convoy for maintaining order.