KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Non-Muslims should avoid the city on September 16 to prevent provoking the red-shirted participants of the planned rally for Malays, activist Datuk Jamal Md Yunos said today.
Jamal, who heads a self-styled coalition of Malay groups, reportedly said he thinks it will be best for non-Muslims to follow the advice in messages being spread on social media for the latter group not to turn up at the city centre on Malaysia Day.
He said his own red shirt group has cancelled plans to turn up and stage a counter-rally to the Bersih 4 rally last month, as emotions may run high during such gatherings.
“These kinds of rallies are demonstrations. So those who come may be over-emotional.
“If they see a rival group during the rally, of course there will be provocation,” the Gabungan NGO-NGO Melayu chairman was quoted telling news portal Malaysiakini.
“And when there is provocation, we are concerned that unwanted incidents will occur,” said Jamal, who is also Sungai Besar Umno division chief.
But Jamal, who had previously said his group was not the organiser of the September 16 rally, insisted that the gathering will be peaceful.
“We don’t encourage people to bring weapons or machetes.
“Posters being spread of shedding the blood of the Chinese are not our message. Maybe there are those with malicious intention who intend to provoke,” he was also quoted saying.
Jamal was non-committal when asked if a Chinese Muslim would be allowed to join the September 16 rally, saying that anyone is free to join the gathering if they comply with the country’s laws.
“It’s up to that person, this is a Malay rally. But we don’t prevent anyone from joining.
“If the Chinese, too, want to come, what can we do? Just come, then. It’s not like there will be doors and participants have to provide tickets to enter,” he said.
The September 16 rally, organised by an unnamed group and alternatively called Himpunan Maruah Melayu or Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu, is ostensibly to counter the alleged Chinese domination of last month’s Bersih 4 rally for institutional reforms.
Jamal has said that the targeted turnout for the September 16 rally that will be held with the aid of 500 Malay groups is 300,000 people.
The police have said that the rally will not be permitted to proceed due to “security implications”, but the event continues to receive unofficial support from Umno leaders.