30,000 NGO members expected at Sept 16 rally

KUALA LUMPUR: Participants of the red shirt rally on Sept 16 will march from various areas around Bukit Bintang before gathering at Padang Merbok, says the organiser.

Datuk Jamal Yunos, who is a spokesman of a coalition of 250 licensed non-governmental organisations taking part, said a number of their representatives had attended a meeting at the Sultan Sulaiman Club yesterday on the rally, which is aimed to unite Malays and to protect the Constitution.

Jamal claimed the rally, organised by the National Silat Federa­tion (Pesaka), would be attended by 30,000 NGO members.

“We will gather at various checkpoints around Bukit Bintang at 11am before marching to Padang Merbok at 3pm.

“The agreement was to wear red shirts with Maruah Melayu (Malay dignity) printed on them,” he told reporters yesterday.

Jamal, who is Sungai Besar Umno chief, said 3,000 division members would also take part.

“The organisers will also contact PAS to participate in the rally,” he said.

Jamal said Pesaka had applied for a permit from City Hall (DBKL) to use Padang Merbok, and acknowledged that it was up to the police to give approval.

“This will be a peaceful gathering. We will not be rioting or committing crimes. What we want is to unite Malays to protect the Constitution.

“We want to celebrate Malaysia Day by wearing red. It is up to the police to give us permission,” he added.

Jamal also said 20 lawyers were ready to provide legal assistance.

In Alor Setar, sacked Langkawi Wanita Umno member Anina Saadudin would not attend the rally, and called on her former party comrades not to participate as well.

Although the gathering was not organised by the party, it was wrong for its members to participate and it contravenes Umno’s constitution, she said.

“While protecting the interests of the Malays, Umno should also be looking after the interests of the other races. Umno’s struggle is to strengthen itself and being part of the rally is not the way,” she told The Star yesterday.

Meanwhile, Perkasa would not be joining the rally as it did not want to be made a scapegoat if any untoward incident was to occur, said its president Datuk Ibrahim Ali.

“I will only consider going if I receive a formal invitation,” he said, adding that the use of the Perkasa logo in the rally was strictly forbidden.

However, he would not stop his members going in their personal capacity.

“But if they break any law, we will not come to their defence,” he added.