Bersih 4: 'Red shirts' ready to face off at rally

Anti-Bersih 'Red Shirt' group leader Jamal along with a few supporters at Dataran Merdeka.

Anti-Bersih 'Red Shirt' group leader Jamal along with a few supporters at Dataran Merdeka.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite police warning, the anti-Bersih red shirt group will carry on with their counter rally this weekend. 

Its spokesman Datuk Jamal Yunus said they are only prepared to call off their gathering if Bersih 4 organisers do the same. 

“If my group is stubborn, Bersih is stubborn and Malaysians in general are stubborn, then what peace can be achieved?” he told reporters at Dataran Merdeka, here, on Thursday.  

He claimed that his group, consisting of 30,000 members from more than 280 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), many of whom are “silat” practitioners would proceed with their planned counter rally. 

On Wednesday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said action would be taken against any party which incites or promotes violence, including the Red Shirts. 

Khalid referred to a demonstration staged by the anti-Bersih group on Tuesday in front of the Sogo department store, where the group’s members were seen breaking tiles and wood with their heads and body. 

Jamal, who is also Sg Besar Umno division chief, insisted that the demonstration was just a show of “martial-arts” in their preparation ahead of the Bersih 4 rally. 

He also denied calling its members to bring parang or swords in the rally, saying that these weapons were only used for their training. 

"I have been to many events celebrated by the Chinese where there were performances including dancing and martial arts using swords and spears. 

"So, it is normal to use weapons during self-defence trainings,” he said, adding that this was not in any way, an act of provocation. 

Jamal, however, said they were prepared to face any action by the police. 

When asked on the source of the group’s funds as Bersih had collected close to RM2mil, Jamal answered that he had also received funds more than RM1mil. 

“I have received funds from several businessmen as I am a businessman myself,” he said. 

The red-shirt group will gather at Low Yat Plaza on Aug 29, starting from 2am, and will march to Dataran Merdeka via Jalan Pudu at 10am.