KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas cancelled a scheduled press conference on Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial after the latter’s supporters became aggressive in the vicinity.
The group began berating Thomas as he approached the lobby of the Kuala Lumpur Courts Complex where the press conference had been arranged, denouncing him for conducting the court proceedings in English earlier.
“Guna Bahasa Malaysia! (Use Bahasa Malaysia!)” the cries came at first, before rising to a crescendo of shouts.
Thomas earlier sought the court’s permission to proceed with the former PM’s prosecution in English.
The AG previously conceded to a poor command of the national language.
The crowd mocked him repeatedly, with some questioning his citizenship for not being fluent in BM.
Thomas stood and smiled as he waited for the crowd to settle down, but walked away when it became apparent that they were becoming increasingly agitated.
Actress Ellie Suriaty Omar, believed to be the instigator of the chants, then had her MyKad taken by police personnel who were attempting to calm the group.
Thomas called later for another press conference, this time on an upper floor free of the former PM’s supporters.
The crowd moved outside the lobby when police escorted some of the more hostile protesters outside, where the shouting and jostling continued.
When the situation calmed, an unidentified supporter attempted to negotiate with the police for the return of the actress’s MyKad.
The man did so in a seemingly sexist manner, telling the police officer that women were prone to histrionics when agitated.
“You know women, when they get excited all kinds of things can happen! All kinds of things!” he told the police officer.
The officer responded by saying he understood their feelings and desire to express support for Najib, but stressed that they were inside a vicinity where official court proceedings were taking place.
The same officer had earlier instructed the group to leave the compound if they insisted on singing and chanting, reminding them that they were at the KL Court Complex and not a karaoke.
The officer declined to return the MyKad then, however, saying it will be given back to the actress only after police have recorded the details of the incident.