Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos has questioned why authorities did not take action against Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin over the incident that led to him and nine others being charged with rioting.
Jamal said that while he and his followers respected the law, they were upset that there does not appear to be any investigation against Zuraida.
"We question why action was taken against us only, while there was no action taken against the provocation started by the Bersih group led by Zuraida," he told a press conference after posting bail today.
Jamal claimed that during the incident that took place on Nov 16 last year, Zuraida (photo) and her followers were promoting the Bersih rally and "inciting the people to topple the government through street protests".
"For opposing this, we are the ones who are being charged. Since the start, we have said that if there is no Bersih, there will be no red movement," said Jamal, who leads a protest movement commonly known as the red-shirts.
He said that more Bersih rallies would be organised if Zuraida is not made an example of.
Claiming trial over minor offence?
Asked why the group decided to claim trial to the alternative charge under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act, which carries a maximum of RM100 fine if convicted, Jamal said there was no reason for them to plead guilty, although this option was cheaper.
"I am ready to plead guilty if the other side is charged, too. It's a huge slap for us if it is only us who are charged," he stressed, pointing out that there were legal costs to consider as well.
He added that he would lodge a police report against Zuraida soon, to compel investigations into his complaint.
In an immediate response, Zuraida said she was open to being investigated and that she has a right to move about her constituency, wearing whatever colour as long as it was lawful.
"(But) the fact is that the police went after him, obviously he's wrong, that's why the police called him.
"The police didn't call me because they know I'm not in the wrong," she said.
On the day of the incident, Jamal and and his group of red-shirts pursued Zuraida as she and PKR members were distributing leaflets ahead of the Bersih rally.
Police tried to separate Jamal and his men from Zuraida's entourage. A scuffle ensued, during which a blow allegedly landed Jamal's face, causing him to suffer a bloody nose.- Mkini