PETALING JAYA: The Umno Disciplinary Board does not need to sack Sungai Besar Umno Division Chief Jamal Yunos over his actions to disrupt the Bersih 5 convoy in Teluk Intan, Perak, a party leader from Sabah said today.
Umno Supreme Council Member Bung Moktar Radin said this was because Jamal was not acting in his capacity as an Umno division chief, but as the leader of the Red Shirts movement.
“I don’t blame Jamal because Bersih also act like thugs. I watched the video. Bersih also acted rudely,” the Kinabatangan MP told FMT.
Yesterday, former Gopeng Umno Wanita Chief Hamidah Osman said Jamal’s actions to disrupt the convoy tarnished Umno’s good name and encouraged thuggish behaviour.
Hamidah, who was sacked from Umno for disciplinary reasons last November, said a leader should not invite his followers to rough up those who participate in public programmes, as Bersih had the right to carry out programmes so long as they did not run afoul of the law.
Meanwhile, another Umno Supreme Council member, Aziz Kaprawi, said only the police were allowed to determine who broke the law.
“Both Bersih and the Red Shirts movement are non-governmental organisations (NGOs). As long as there is no breaking of the law, their activities are permissible. Only the police can determine who broke the law in this case,” Aziz said.
He added that it was Bersih participants who first displayed thuggish behaviour, pointing to past rallies where Bersih participants overturned a police car, assaulted cops and vandalised public property.
The deputy transport minister added that when Bersih took to the streets, others were bound to follow.
“If Bersih did not take to the streets, then the Red Shirts movement would not have either.”
On Saturday, the Bersih 5 convoy, organised by Bersih 2.0, kicked off at multiple locations nationwide to publicise the rally and its demands for institutional reform.
As the convoy marched in Teluk Intan, they were confronted by Red Shirts supporters led by Jamal, who blocked their path, and subsequently a scuffle broke out between the two groups.
Bersih 2.0 Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah claimed the scuffle erupted because Jamal attacked a Bersih activist, while Jamal claimed the Bersih activists started pushing and shoving first.
However, video footage showed that the scuffle started after Jamal had snatched a banner from the hands of a Bersih activist.
Meanwhile, Star Online reported that Hilir Perak Deputy Police Chief Yahaya Hassan said no punches were traded during the incident.
Yahaya added that the police had already identified several individuals who started the scuffle and would take action against them.