PETALING JAYA: Geramm (Gerakan Media Merdeka) has criticised the "unacceptable act of physical and verbal assault against journalists on duty".
The media watchdog was commenting on an incident that happened near Universiti Malaya earlier on Friday (Mar 22), where six students holding a demonstration against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak were allegedly manhandled by the former premier's supporters.
According to Malaysiakini, two of their interns were harassed by Petaling Jaya Selatan Umno chief Mutalib Abdul Rahim and Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam.
Geramm condemned the incident, stressing that "all journalists regardless of media organisations have a right to carry out their duties without being harassed, or worse, attacked by any irresponsible parties".
"We also once again reiterate our support for the establishment of a Malaysian Media Council as a platform to resolve any disputes with any media agencies without the need to resort to violence," it said in a statement.
A video of the scuffle that is being shared on social media showed Najib's supporters, including Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, accosting the students who were behind a railing.
The students were holding placards that read “Najib tak malu (Najib is shameless)” and “Mana RM2.6bil? (Where is the RM2.6bil?)”, as well as a big cut-out of a caricature of the former premier as a clown.
The confrontation quickly turned aggressive as the supporters snatched the placards away from the students.
Lokman allegedly grabbed and tore the clown caricature into pieces.
Najib’s supporters then held one of the students in a reverse chokehold and grabbed his hair and hit him.