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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Anti-Bersih scuffles: We just wanted to go eat, Umno Youth leader says


The anti-Bersih group which clashed with Bersih supporters yesterday in Kuala Selangor just wanted to have a meal, said an Umno Youth leader.
Armand Azha Abu Hanifa said they had no intention to cause a commotion.
"We had been building sand levees all morning... We wanted to eat," he said, referring to the preparations made by the red shirts to help Kuala Selangor residents face the impending high tide.
"But you know, the boys were tired from lifting sand (bags), and when they got there they saw Bersih (handing out fliers)
"I told one of them (from Bersih) 'brother, do it somewhere else, we want to eat', but suddenly there was provocation," Armand told Malaysiakini.
Yesterday scuffles broke out between anti-Bersih protesters and Bersih volunteers handing out fliers at the Giant hypermarket in Kuala Selangor.
The anti-Bersih group also manhandled and intimidated journalists covering the event.
Armand, however said he had tried to stop the fighting.
"From the start I tried to stop what happened to the journalists, to the Bersih people.
"But Malaysiakini reported that I started the provocation," he claimed.
Malaysiakini in its report yesterday said Armand had shaken hands and hugged a Bersih volunteer.
However, it was reported that an associate of his was the one seen as starting the provocation.
Meanwhile, when asked about why the anti-Bersih group was seen outside a pizza parlour across the road from Giant, Armand said the group could not get food there as it was a takeout only place.
The group outside the pizza parlour had threatened and punched a Malaysiakini photographer after she took pictures of them.
As she was about to go to her car to leave the area, the photographer was punched on her shoulder and called Cina babi (Chinese pig) by the men.
A car belonging to one of the anti-Bersih individuals was found containing cartons of eggs in the boot after police conducted checks on them.
Armand also said the group would have left Bersih alone if they had not gathered at a place without a permit.
He cited the lack of provocation at the high tea function in Kampung Permatang, as well as the Bersih ceramah in the Kuala Selangor stadium as an example.

Red shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos had apologised for any intimidation towards the press, but insisted that it was ultimately Bersih's fault.
The Star reported that police are investigating the anti-Bersih group under Section 506 of the Penal Code.
Bersih is currently holding nationwide roadshows to promote its Nov 19 rally in Kuala Lumpur. -Mkini

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