Malay groups wash hands of Sept 16 ‘Red Shirt’ rally

Deputy IGP Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim on Monday said the rally will not be permitted to proceed due to 'security implications', but the event continues to receive unofficial support from Umno leaders. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Deputy IGP Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim on Monday said the rally will not be permitted to proceed due to 'security implications', but the event continues to receive unofficial support from Umno leaders. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Several Malay non-governmental organisations today rejected the September 16 Himpunan Maruah Melayu, saying the rally's agenda and its participants do not represent their community.

Permuafakatan Perkampungan Melayu Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (Muafakat) president Ishak Surin also accused the rally’s unnamed organisers of being "dishonest" and "superficial" in their claims to protect Malay interests.

"They do not represent us. To those who claimed to care for Malay interests, where were they when the Malays were driven out of their houses in Kampung Banda Dalam and Kampung Puah?" he said.

"These villages are Malay heritage and contain highly valuable Malay culture... their (the rally organiser’s) claims show they did not look after our interests but manipulate it instead."

Representatives from Gerakan Intelektual Rakyat (Gatera), Seniman Paksi Rakyat (Paksi) and other groups similarly rejected any association with the rally and its claim to represent the Malays.

The September 16 rally, organised by an unnamed group and alternately called Himpunan Maruah Melayu or Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu, is ostensibly to counter what they claim was the Chinese domination during last month’s Bersih 4.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim on Monday said the rally will not be permitted to proceed due to “security implications”, but the event continues to receive unofficial support from Umno leaders.

Gabungan NGO-NGO Malaysia chairman Datuk Jamal Md Yunos was quoted by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia recently as saying that the September 16 rally was a result of the “many slogans insulting the Malay leadership” during the 34-hour Bersih 4 rally held in the run-up to the Merdeka Day celebrations.

The August 29 to 30 rally was also slammed by Umno and PAS leaders after photos circulated on social media of alleged Bersih 4 participants stepping on a superimposed image of Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak hugging PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today rejected the need to hold the September 16 rally, saying that the Bersih 4 rally had not been about race.

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