Umno will not stop its members from joining Red Shirts group (Updated)

16 Nov 2016 / 22:15 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno will not stop its members from going down to the streets to participate in the Red Shirt group activities this Saturday.
Party information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pix) said the decision by Umno members to join the Red Shirt is solely personal and does not represent the party.
He, however reminded all parties concerned that the rally and protest has been declared illegal by the police and thus those who participate must bear the consequences.
"We are not stopping them. Let's be frank. Most Umno members are not happy with Bersih and some of course want to join the crowd and Baju Merah," he said.
"That is strictly personal rather than at organisation level ... At party level, we have not made any decision on the matter. We will not stop anyone from participating," he told reporters at the Parliament.
The Red Shirt group, led by Umno Sungai Besar division chief Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos, has pledged to bring their numbers into the city to counter the massive Bersih 5 rally this weekend.
There were previous clashes between the groups which led to supporters sustaining injuries.
When pressed further if Umno would take action against members participating in the rally, Annuar said the party has no effective means to stop them.
"Tell me how Umno can stop if they want to go. Even the police can't stop the people and you expect Umno or its information chief to stop them from going," he asked.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar called on the government, police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to cooperate with Bersih 2.0 to facilitate the gathering.
"There is no requirement of licensing by the police for an assembly. Thus, the police have no power under the Peaceful Assembly Act to prohibit a rally. Rather, the police must respect, protect and facilitate the exercise of the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble peaceably and without arms, which is a duty imposed by law on the police," Malaysian Bar vice-president George Varughese said in a statement yesterday.
He also urged the police to invoke Section 18 of the PAA on counter-assembly, and give the Red Shirts an alternative for the counter assembly to be organised at another time, date or place.
"This will avoid conflict between the participants of the Bersih 5 assembly and the Red Shirts. We urge the police to take measures to ensure both assemblies take place on separate dates or in separate places, peacefully and with minimal intrusion and disruption, while maintaining public order and protecting the safety of all participants," he said.

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