KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — The police said today that they are investigating the veracity of a claim on social media that a Malay wearing a red shirt had hit a car being driven by a Chinese on the road, ahead of a controversial rally planned on September 16.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajudin Md Isa said they have yet to find any group clad in red shirts roaming around the city looking to commit acts of “provocation”, as alleged in the social media rumour.
“The public is advised not to believe information spread on social media that is being raised just to scare people and to threaten racial harmony, as well as public peace,” Tajudin said in a statement.
“If there are any disturbances or actions by the group, the public is advised to lodge a police report or to contact any nearby police stations. The police will not hesitate to take action against groups that are racist or who try to commit acts of provocation, or any other acts that violate the law and can disturb the public peace,” he added.
A screencap of a WhatsApp message that is being shared on social media claims that a Malay, who was wearing a red shirt, approached a car during a traffic jam and started hitting it, with the messenger claiming that the provocative act targeted the Chinese.
Although the police have prohibited the September 16 rally, organised by an unnamed group and alternatively called Himpunan Maruah Melayu or Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu, Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that Umno members were free to join the demonstration as long as they followed the law.
The rally, promoted through red shirts and provocative posters implying violence, is purportedly organised to counter the seeming Chinese domination of last month’s Bersih 4 rally for institutional reforms.
Datuk Jamal Md Yunos, who heads a group of Malay NGOs, has even warned non-Muslims to avoid the city on Malaysia Day to avoid “provocation” at the September 16 rally.