KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Several youths were manhandled by supporters of Datuk Seri Najib Razak outside a restaurant near Universiti Malaya this afternoon when they disrupted the former prime minister’s meet-and-greet session.
Universiti Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY) president Wong Yan Ke told Malay Mail that he and other students stood opposite the road from Restoran Amjal, where Najib’s session took place, and stood silently with a cardboard caricature of a clown-faced Najib and posters printed with the words “Mana RM2.6bil?” (Where’s the RM2.6 billion).
Then Wong alleged that Najib’s supporters exited the restaurant, confronted him and his friends, and assaulted him.
“The first thing they did when they came down was shout at us asking ‘Kenapa semua Cina’ and then proceeded to walk across the streets towards us and tear up our posters and placards without any provocation from us,” said Wong.
“We said these are our right to protest but they didn’t stop. Instead, they ganged up on me. They pulled my hair, strangled me and slapped my face. They destroyed all out stuff,” he added.
The young man said he struggled to breathe and almost passed out, after which police separated them and escorted him into the university premises.
“But even then, the posse who attacked us didn’t care whether the police were there or not. They followed us all the way to the university gates before backing off.”
Wong said he and his friends decided to protest because they want to show Najib that despite his newfound popularity, the former prime minister needed a reminder that there were those who disliked him.
“This is a step backwards for Malaysia and human rights as we have freedom of association and assembly,” added Wong.
“However when we decide to protest we’re attacked by thugs. I am still at the police station and I am going to lodge a police report as I was attacked.”
UMANY will be releasing a statement on this matter soon.
Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam, who was one of those who tore up the placards, said: “I don’t care if they want to protest, but when they use the picture of Najib, that is our boss. It is our right to take that picture and tear it up.”