Anti-Umno rally disrupted, one injured


A ceramah organised by Anything But Umno (ABU) was cancelled at the last minute due to a disturbance from a "rowdy" group.

According to Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director E Nalini (right), the ceramah was disrupted by 8906534bb6824b17d12bb52ff36b51c0.jpgseveral youths spotting T-shirts with BN and Umno logos.

"The ceramah was to start about 9pm last night. As we were driving to the hall, there were about six or seven men beating up a boy with sticks," said Nalini. This was confirmed by ABU coordinator Haris Ibrahim, who added that one young man was taken to the hospital.

"Another group of some 20 people were causing a ruckus opposite the hall, waving rods and riding motorcycles," Nalini told Malaysiakini, adding that they were told the area was an "Umno stronghold".

Co-organised by Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), the ceramah was to take place at the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) Hall on Jalan Kebun, before it was called off over safety concerns.

"I understand that the hospital had to do a CT Scan on the youth. He is out of danger but he is certainly traumatised," said Haris, who was to speak at the ceramah.

Apart from Haris, other speakers lined up were PKR's Badrul Hisham Shahrin, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu and Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam.

Haris said the organisers would decide later today on their next course of action.

Nalini said that the rowdy group dispersed after several police patrol cars arrived at the scene.

Malays told to leave

Hindraf adviser N Ganesan said in a statement that the group was making a racket outside the MBSA hall by honking motorcycle horns, and one of the group's leaders even told Malay attendees to leave the ceramah.

"Having succeeded in getting a few of the attendees to leave the hall, the mat rempit then began kicking and pushing over the publicity material and tables placed at the entrance to the hall.

"This made some in the crowd restless, and prompted the mat rempit leader to ask the crowd to 'berambus' (get lost).

222f5bd5f648b2ac5ca36b109b8cb04e.jpg"Things took an ugly turn when a mat rempit then rode his motorcycle right into the seating area, making those there scramble for safety," recounted Ganesan (left).

A scuffle then took place when one of the participants told the motorcycle group leader to leave.

They began shoving one another and it eventually ended in a fight, said Ganesan, adding that the participant was then "knocked senseless, and had to be rushed off to the hospital".

Ganesan also criticised BN and Umno, accusing them of using youths to disrupt the ceramah.

He added that despite the "brazen attempt" to thwart the gathering, Hindraf as well as ABU would continue to host forums and ceramah of such nature. However, Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah refuted the allegations that a person was injured.

"Nothing happened, the residents were unhappy, that's all. No BN or Umno supporters disturbed them," said Tun Hisan when contacted.

"No police reports were lodged, not even by the victim who was said to be injured," he said.

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