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Saturday, October 29, 2016

A red night with Jamal at the Selangor Umno HQ



There was a light drizzle in Shah Alam on Thursday night. Outside the Selangor Umno headquarters, a score of red-clad youths lingered like soldier fire ants protecting the colony.
There were more of them in the lobby, but the mood was lighter. A red-shirt with a gentle smile politely said the meeting was on the 7th floor.
The red-shirts were gathered in the Umno building that night as their leader, Jamal Md Yunos, was forging an alliance with 60 Malay rights groups to oppose the "yellow menace", Bersih.
Many had questioned why Jamal and the red-shirts were opposed to Bersih.
Were they not in favour of free and fair elections?
Former Selangor PAS secretary Norman Toha indicated otherwise.
Speaking to a crowd of about 80 people clad in red, Norman told of how Bersih was backed by "nefarious westerners" such as the National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros' "Jewish" Open Society Foundation, who allegedly had an anti-Islam and anti-Malay agenda.
This was later followed by a video presentation by Jamal, which implied that Bersih - through jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim - also had links to the shadowy Illuminati, the New World Order and the Jewish Pax Judaica.
The video also showed Bersih protesters at their worst, breaking through barriers, attacking police cars, and stepping on the faces of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Behind the conspiracy theories, though, was the central theme that Malays needed to rise up and defend their race and religion from subversive elements, which also included the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) movement.
Jamal, however, was direct in expressing that their main opponent was the "DAP Chinese".
"I would support them (the opposition) if they succeed in overthrowing BN and rule, if they are pure Malays.
"But we will not allow the BN government to fall if those behind them (the opposition) are not Malay-Muslims.
"We can see it is not just Anwar, but the accursed DAP behind them," he told the audience of about 80 people, half of whom were middle-aged, all dressed in red.
Selangor Umno chief Noh Omar, who made a surprise appearance despite having distanced the red-shirts from the party, however, was quick to stress that efforts to oppose Bersih must be lawful.
The speakers themselves did not advocate for violence though, and the crowd was - for the most part - respectfully quiet throughout the speeches, except when slogans were chanted.
But when the speeches ended and the Malay rights leaders gathered for a photo op, the room thundered with shouts of "Hidup Merah" (Long live the red-shirts).
It was then that inklings of apparent inner rage within the group surfaced, when one of the "ayahanda" (Malay leader) standing behind the front line took offence at a journalist's question on whether the groups would "kerahkan" (mobilise) members to join the rally.
"The word is wrong, we're not 'kerahkan' (mobilising). We're carrying out our responsibility, we came willingly.
"The question has to be changed. The press please take note, or you won't go home," the unidentified ayahanda piped up from the back.
The main spokesperson, Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Warisan Ketuanan Melayu Malaysia (Pewaris) president Jaafar Shaari, however, responded to the question calmly, saying they would provide support for Jamal, and that mobilisation was not an issue.

The minute flare-up dissipated quickly and the night ended without incident.
But with a less-than-sterling track record in keeping the peace, the coming red-shirt rallies against Bersih on Nov 5 and Nov 19 may turn ugly.
Three weeks ago, red-shirt supporters egged and kicked a Bersih supporter, and a week later they roughed up Bersih volunteers and the media.
Things however, were calmer at the Kapar rally last week, where under the watchful eyes of the police, both Bersih and the red-shirts gathered and dispersed peacefully.- Mkini

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