Tuesday, January 21, 2014

‘May 13 warning banner not Umno’s’

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Penang Umno today distanced itself from the controversial and provocative banner of ‘May 13′ put up during a protest march on Saturday against PKR’s “kangkung flash mob” held here last week.

Insisting on Umno’s innocence, party state deputy chairman Reezal Merican Naina Merican instead blamed the Machang Bubok assemblyman Lee Khai Loon-led flash mob of inciting anger among local Malay groups.
He clarified that Umno was not the organiser of the protest in Seberang Jaya which was reportedly joined by 600 to 700 protesters from various Malay-based groups, including local Umno leaders.
“Umno had no control over the protest, protesters and their banners,” he told FMT via telephone.
He insisted that neither Umno nor its leaders backed the putting up of the provocative ‘May 13′ banner or condoned any form of violence in the country.
He explained that the six Umno divisional leaders were present at the demonstration merely to express their anger against Lee for organising a flash mob insulting Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
Apart from Reezal, who is also the Kepala Batas MP, state Umno secretary Musa Sheikh Fadzir and Tasek Gelugor division chief and MP Shabudin Yahaya were also present.
“We were there because the person humiliated was Umno president.
“We don’t know who brought the banner.
“Those who joined in the protest were with different state of minds, ranging from extremely angry people to calm and moderate ones.
“It’s not fair to blame Umno just because some leaders were present.
“It was beyond our control. We were not the organisers. We just joined it,” stressed Reezal Merican, adding that he only knew about the rally via social network, Facebook.
Lee inflamed the demonstrators
Saturday’s demonstrators vented their anger against Lee for allegedly insulting Najib by stuffing kangkung into the premier’s effigy during a 

flash mob held outside a wet market in Alma, under Machang Bubok state constituency last Wednesday.

Chanting “Allahu Akbar” and “Hidup Melayu” (Long live the Malays), they marched about 1km towards the Sunway Carnival Mall with banners.
The banners read: “Because of DAP leaders’ mouth, May 13, 1969 happened… Want some more?”, “Insulting the PM is like insulting the Malays”, “Penang Malays survive by eating kangkung”, “ABCD – Asal Bukan Cina DAP” and “DAP is the enemy of Islam”.
Insisting that he would never support violence, Reezal Merican however, blamed Lee for inflaming the demonstrators.

If not for the PKR representative’s provocative flash mob insulting Najib, Reezal Merican said the demonstrators would not put up the ‘May 13′ banners.
“I am not defending the individual who put up the banner.
“Wrong is a wrong. But Lee is also equally guilty. Lee’s action caused the protest and the May 13 banner.
“Lee’s extreme provocative flash mob invited such extreme reaction,” he insisted.
Reezal Merican anyway welcomed police investigation into the banner issue. He also challenged Lee to organise similar flash mobs to gauge public support.

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