The “Red Shirts” recent “gangster-like” behaviour showed that the group cannot be trusted to provide security for the Bersih 5 rally, Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah said today.
Rejecting Umno leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos’ conditional offer of 2,000 of his followers to provide security if the Bersih 5 rally is held in a stadium, she also insisted that the peaceful gathering will be held on the streets.
“They have used violence, they have used threats. Yesterday was a threat and today you want to give me security? I mean, come on.
“There’re threats against Bersih all the time, so we are not accepting any security from Red Shirts and we will be able to take care of our own security,” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
Maria said her electoral reform group already has 1,000 volunteers for the November 19 street rally, and was confident that the police would also help ensure safety.
“We don’t need Red Shirts’ security because their conduct in front of Malaysiakini (office) is disgusting, full of violence and total disrespect. This kind of people, we don’t need security from them,” she added.
The Red Shirts staged a small-scale protest last Thursday outside Malaysiakini’s Petaling Jaya, Selangor office before returning for a demonstration last Saturday with roughly 700 people calling for the news portal to be shut down despite its editors’ explanation on its foreign funding as demanded.
Among other things during the second protest, the Red Shirts protesters engaged in a martial arts demonstration that saw them breaking sticks and bricks. The demonstrators also left behind bags of rubbish at Malaysiakini’s gate.
Maria further noted that the Bersih 5 venue has been fixed and will not be moved to a stadium as suggested by Jamal.
“We are not going to do indoors, it’s our right to decide where we want to gather because this is a perhimpunan [gathering], it is up to us to decide and it is not for anybody to decide where we are demonstrating,” she said.
“My advice is he stay away; if he wants to do a demonstration, please do it somewhere else or do it on another day,” she said, referring to Jamal.
Earlier today, Jamal warned that he could not rule out the possibility of a clash with Bersih 2.0 if it continues with its initial plan, saying: “We will contribute 2,000 people if they rally in a stadium but if they don’t, don’t challenge us, we are ready.”
The Red Shirts movement, which was formed last year to stage a counter-rally against Bersih 2.0’s Bersih 4 rally, has vowed to counter this year’s Bersih 5 rally.
Red Shirts followers were reported to have violently assaulted or harassed Bersih 2.0 supporters and journalists during the electoral reform group’s nationwide convoy ahead of the Bersih 5 rally.
The Red Shirts recently also set its sights on Malaysiakini and also promised to rally against the Bar Council, due to alleged foreign funding.
Source : IDA LIM@The Malay Mail Online