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200 protest over ‘Umno celaka’ remark

 | May 21, 2014

House speaker will tell DAP's Rayer to apologise tomorrow.

protest penangGEORGE TOWN: About 200 people demonstrated noisily outside the Penang Assembly House for several hours from 2pm today, demanding that Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer apologise for a remark against Umno.

The protesters, led by Penang Umno Youth vice-chairman Jasmin Nordin, broke open the gate to the building.

Six of them stormed into the assembly hall searching for Rayer. Failing to find him, they returned to join the rest of the group, by which time George Town police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid had arrived at the scene.

Mior ordered the protesters to disperse within 10 minutes, but they defied him.

They are offended that Rayer used the Malay expression “Umno celaka” in his speech during yesterday’s state assembly session.

The classical definition of “celaka” is “unfortunate” or “doomed”, but the word is used colloquially to express disgust. It can be interpreted as “crook”, “rascal” or “scoundrel”.

A few minutes into the demonstration, assembly speaker Low Choo Kiang and Pulau Betong assemblyman Muhamad Farid Saad of Umno appeared at the scene to meet the ring leaders.

They urged the crowd to calm down before leading Jasmin and two other protesters to a meeting inside the building. They were joined by state Opposition Leader Jahara Hamid and Pinang Tunggal assemblyman Roslan Saidin, both of Umno.protest penang1

After about 15 minutes, Jahara, Farid, Jasmin emerged to meet the demonstrators and speak to reporters.

Jahara said Law had agreed to ask Rayer to retract his statement and apologise during tomorrow’s assembly sitting.

“No one should be allowed to condemn Umno as ‘celaka’ anywhere,” said Jahara to the applauding crowd.

The protesters dispersed after Jasmin related to them what transpired in the meeting with Law.

In a text message to FMT, Penang Umno chief Zainal Abidin Osman condemned Rayer for his remark.

He said the DAP man had gone overboard and brought shame to his position as an elected representative.

He said Rayer should not have used his debate time to campaign for DAP candidates contesting in the Bukit Gelugor and Teluk Intan by-elections.

“His remarks did not bring any benefit to the people of Penang, except to serve his and his party’s selfish interests,” he said.

“He has wrongly used his immunity in the assembly to attack Umno and stir sentiments.”

ACP Mior later assured that the police would investigate the case for trespassing under Section 448 of the Penal Code. He said the police would arrest those who broke into the building.

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