KUALA LUMPUR: A Universiti Malaya (UM) student leader, who was allegedly roughed up by Najib Razak‘s supporters yesterday, demanded that they apologise to him and fellow students over the incident.
In a statement, University of Malaya Association of New Youth (Umany) president Wong Yan Ke said it was within his rights under the law to hold a peaceful gathering to express dissatisfaction over the former prime minister‘s hypocrisy and 1MDB.
He said he had been involved in several protests before and after the May 9, 2018 general election.
This included protests against Education Minister Maszlee Malik’s appointment as International Islamic University Malaysia president, the small hike of RM50 to the RM1,000 minimum wage (now set at RM1,100) and the government’s decision not to abolish the Universities and University Colleges Act.
“These were carried out peacefully and without any form of harassment.
“What happened yesterday was a total contrast from my past experiences,” he said.
Wong also lodged a police report at Pantai police station today over yesterday’s incident. He identified two well-known Umno members as those allegedly involved.
He claimed two members and other individuals attacked him and six other students. He said these individuals tore placards saying “Mana RM2.6 billion?” (Where is RM2.6 billion?) and a poster held by a student, with a caricature of a clown resembling Najib.
“They approached us and hurled racial remarks against us. Some of them tried to pull my hair and attempted to choke me,” Wong said.
He said, as students, they did not fear any threats from the government or the opposition in expressing their views.
“We practise the rule of law and no one has the right to practise violence, or to cause racial disharmony in the name of defending one’s ‘Boss’,” he said, making reference to Najib’s popular “Bossku” tagline.
Najib was attending a session with UM students at Restaurant Amjal near Universiti Malaya on Friday afternoon.
Umno Supreme Council member Lokman Noor Adam was seen tearing the placards. He defended his action to tear the placards, citing it was “an act which is insulting to Najib”.
Najib later expressed regret over the incident and said he had already been charged in court last year over the RM2.6 billion donation issue and had returned the money he had received in his personal account to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah four months after receiving it.
Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo condemned the attack on the students and journalists.
“There is no need for this. We must all unite against violence.
“Those who resort to such means should be hauled up and dealt with. What happened to the students must be severely condemned,” he said in a Twitter posting.
“Please stop harassing or harming journalists. They are there to report the facts. If you disagree with them, you should explain your side of the facts to them or respond to articles written or even sue if you must.
“But please do not resort to violence or abuse. That is not acceptable,” Gobind said.