Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today the Malay nationalist party will not stop members who wished to participate in Saturday’s counter rally against the Bersih 5 demonstration.
However, he added that the party was not endorsing those who joined in with the Red Shirts movement led by Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos.
“We are not stopping them. Let's be frank. Most Umno members are not happy with Bersih and some of course want to join the crowd and Baju Merah," he told reporters at Parliament, using the Malay name for the Red Shirts.
“That is strictly at personal level rather at organisation level… On the party level, we have not made any decision but we are not stopping any members if they want to go,” he said.
The Ketereh MP also deflected a question on whether or not Umno will take disciplinary action against members who took part in the street demonstration, which the police have said would be deemed illegal.
“Tell me how Umno can stop if they want to go? Tell me how. If even the police can't stop the people, you expect Umno or its information chief can stop people from going?” he retorted.
“They have the right to express their feeling, but we want to remind them if they do something against the law, they have to take the responsibility,” he said.
The Umno supreme council member reiterated that the party has not made any decision on the rally, stressing that party members did so at their own risk.
“If it's illegal and they still want to go against the law, they will have to face the music,” Annuar said.
Polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 is calling for a public protest to pressure the government to carry out reforms ahead of the 14th general elections due by 2018.
The Red Shirts have said they will demonstrate against the Bersih 5 participants who are scheduled to converge just outside Dataran Merdeka this Saturday.
The police have already said that both rallies do not have permit and stern action, including the use of water cannons and tear gas, might be deployed against participants if they break the law.
Source -Malay Mail Online-