THE fifth Bersih rally is just five days away, and yet we have been shocked by another unruly action involving Bersih 2.0’s rival, the Red Shirts.
Yesterday, the group leader had received a bloody nose in a scuffle at a Bersih gathering in Ampang. The Red Shirts were pursuing Ampang MP Zuraida Kamruddin, as she and a group of PKR members were publicizing the upcoming rally at Ampang Point mall.
The fight then ensued after the Red Shirt leader was allegedly punched in the face.
In the video, he can be heard shouting at the police, yelling that a police officer had punched him, albeit telling the press quite later that he was hit by one of ‘Zuraida’s boys’.
What is absolutely disturbing about the whole incident is that the participants were clearly disrespecting the authorities. The policemen were trying their best to keep the peace, but were in turn being snubbed by the Red Shirts.
This is apparent as even the group leader attempted to push away the ground personnel guarding an exit of the shopping centre.
The incident however proves that the Red Shirts are putting themselves way above the law. Moreover, it could pose serious upshots should Bersih rally proceeds as planned.
One can surely foresee that this group would react violently even without provocation. This would definitely affect the police’s effort to safeguard the safety of rally-goers and the innocents who will happen to be near the assembly come Nov 19.
Meanwhile, such an incident could set a precedent to Red Shirt members elsewhere, that it is okay for them to go against the police, not to mention that its followers are made up by loads of clueless youths.
I have utmost respect towards the police. Scores of them worked very hard to maintain the order of the society.
Many had even sacrificed their lives over vicious incidents, including 2013’s terrorists attack in Lahad Datu, Sabah – an incident that many could not erase from their memories.
The long arm of the law must not receive such a treatment, let alone from a group of street hooligans.
It would be very upsetting to see these personnel to face disrespect and abuse at a rather pointless event like the Bersih assembly.
Balqis Rayhana is an independent analyst and Malaysian Access reader. Article written is strictly her personal view. Malaysian Access does not necessarily endorse the opinions given by any third party content provider.