KUALA LUMPUR: It appears that Red Shirts leader Jamal Yunos might not make it to his own Bersih 5 counter-rally this morning.
Jamal, who is also the Sungai Besar Umno division chief, was arrested by police at a hotel he was staying in.
In a statement posted on a WhatsApp group earlier today, Jamal said he was taken to Selangor police headquarters in Shah Alam at around 1.30am.
“I was about to leave the hotel (when the police arrested him),” said Jamal.
He however, expressed hope that even in his absence, the Red Shirts’ rally tomorrow will still go on.
“I hope my arrest will not break the spirit of my Red Shirts supporters.”
The group’s legal adviser Mohd Imran Tamrin when contacted at about 2am, said he along with several others were on the way to the police headquarters to gather more information.
It is believed that Jamal’s arrest was conducted under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.
Jamal had planned the gathering after Bersih 2.0 announced on Sept 14 that it would be having the Bersih 5 rally, which is calling for the resignation of Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak, among other demands.
The police had declared both Bersih 5 and the Red Shirts’ counter-rally as illegal although both groups had complied with the Peaceful Assembly Act’s requirement for a 10-day notice.
According to Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, this was because they had failed to obtain Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s permission to gather at their proposed venue of Dataran Merdeka.
Also questioned in the police’s sudden crackdown on those suspected to be involved in today’s Bersih 5 rally, was student activist Adam Adli Abd Halim.
Adam, on his Twitter account, said the police came to the hotel room he was staying in, near KL Sentral at around 1.30am, earlier this morning.
Unlike Jamal and several others arrested since yesterday, Adam was not taken into custody.
“They just came, asked me some questions, and took down my details including my IC number.
“Then they left,” he told FMT when contacted.
Jamal’s arrest and Adam’s questioning followed those of DAP’s Ronnie Liu in front of the Bukit Aman police headquarters for incitement to riot and DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke over his speech at the Pakatan Harapan Convention last Saturday.
Police also nabbed Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and secretariat member Mandeep Singh following a raid at their office in Petaling Jaya yesterday afternoon.
The raid resulted in the confiscation of 10 laptops, two large document boxes, and two mobile phones. Maria and Mandeep’s identification cards were also seized.
Others arrested yesterday were PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan, Kota Kinabalu MP Jimmy Wong (DAP), Lee Khai Ming (DAP), student activists Luqman Nur Hakim Zul Razali and Anis Syafiqah, as well as Safwan Anang of Lensa Anak Muda Malaysia.
Police had also questioned Klang MP Charles Santiago of DAP yesterday afternoon over his involvement in the rally.