By Hafidz Baharom
Today, another bunch of red shirted hooligans tried to disrupt the Bersih convoy, this time up north in Alor Setar. Thankfully this time there was a repeated performance of the exceptional performance of our Royal Malaysian Police in maintaining order, as they did in Johor.
For that, the police my utmost thanks.
However, video proof shown on Malaysiakini (http://m.kinitv.com/video/39642O74) is evidence of one item I wrote of recently – that Umno is in fact behind the Red Shirt movement. There is no question about it. The video itself shows hooligans trying to provoke and intimidate the Bersih convoy while wearing red coloured t-shirts with the Umno logo clearly emblazoned on them.
In other words, these hooligans have themselves shown that their actions are in the Malay nationalist party’s name.
Can the Umno upper echelon leaders still deny the obvious, or will they take action against the violent actions of their own members which threaten the peace?
If it is not done in Umno’s name, prove it. Take action against them. Heck, Umno can even sue these hooligans for abuse of their trademark logo, they can even send warning letters to every branch to cease and desist provoking a riot, and even offer their own members to counter protest the Red Shirts by barricading the roads taken by Bersih through linking arms and forming a human wall.
In fact, they have ministers aplenty to tell the authorities to ensure the security of both sides of the divide, red shirts and yellow shirts alike, and subsequently tell the police to be professional in maintaining the peace.
They could do all this. Why haven’t they?
Well, today is proof. Unless Umno takes action against these perpetrators who insist on physical scare tactics to get their way, then Umno as a party is smearing themselves as racists with violent tendencies against others simply over political difference.
There is a huge difference between the freedom of speech and expression and threatening the lives and instigating violence. Oddly enough, some cannot seem to grasp the difference between a pogrom of hoodlums and a peaceful protest.
At the same time, Umno has a history in itself of promoting the latter as a movement against the Malayan Union, and it should embrace it instead of continually promoting this farce that “peaceful protests are not our culture”.
There is nothing peaceful in wanting and quietly supporting the Red Shirt movement which has now shown that they in fact want to attack others on a physical level. This is that line that makes the difference between the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression and speech, and the criminal act that is so defined in our Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) of 2012.
Of course, Bersih and Opposition parties are not keen to use this law because they don’t agree with it. I personally have no such qualms.
Thus, Malaysians including Umno’s 3 million strong members have to ask themselves – is the party a breeding ground for the Red Shirt movement? Are Umno members making up the Red Shirt cadres?
Is Jamal as ringleader using Umno contacts to spread his violent ideology? And if so, isn’t that basically using the political party contacts for an act to spread fear across the nation, pretty much like a virus on an IT network?
The solution for Umno is the same. Either quarantine the virus or purge it from the network. And this is why myself – as well as many Malaysians – have the same question. Why hasn’t Umno done any of these steps.
Perhaps Umno has a special love for the Red Shirts which are using their name, heir cause and even their logo now, to promote violence.
If Umno’s leaders still refuse to take action even with all this evidence stacked against the party itself, then it is their loss.
It’s now a globally connected world which everyone can see the evidence of the links between Umno to Jamal and his thugs. It is their prerogative on an international scale to care for their own image as the party which has led the government coalition for close to 60 years.
Umno’s leaders should consider very thoroughly if they are so willing to flush that image down the toilet over one branch leader and their extremist members.