Red-shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos is claiming 10,000 people turned up for today’s demonstration near the Malaysiakini office.
“I limited today’s (gathering) to only 10,000 (people), that’s why the Malaysiakini building is still intact,” he told reporters after the conclusion of today’s gathering.
Despite the figure cited by Jamal, Malaysiakini estimates that today’s gathering consisted of 700 participants at most.
Jamal, earlier, before leading the group to Malaysiakini's office said the group did not reach the target number of 20,000 people because they were "law-abiding citizens".
"If it reached 20,000 people, apart from the building being destroyed, all of Malaysiakini's enterprises will be closed down," he said.
Jamal, in a meeting with Malaysiakini’s top editors on Thursday, had threatened to bring 20,000 people and runtuh (tear down) a portion of the building if the news portal did not explain the grant it received from the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
As for today’s gathering which comprised mainly Malays, there were also two or three non-Malays.
This was used by red-shirts' leaders in their speeches before Jamal’s arrival to state the gathering was not only by the Malays for the Malays.
Due to the heavy police presence, there was no untoward incident except for the usual scuffles between media practitioners and red-shirts jostling to get the best spots during the event.
And bizarrely, however, Jamal, who soon after his arrival said he had something to show – showcased a silat demonstration.
Although it was not Jamal himself who was part of the silat demonstration, the sight of several men being hit with 2x4 wood was mind-boggling, to say the least.The demonstration, he said, was only the start of what the red-shirts were capable of doing.
The red-shirts were protesting against the funding of several local groups by the OSF, run by billionaire George Soros.
According to Jamal, Soros was responsible for the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997 and funded revolutions in many countries throughout the world.
Initially, the red-shirts were supposed to gather at Dataran Merdeka but after being banned from gathering there, chose to rally at Malaysiakini's office instead. - Mkini