Umno distances itself from Jamal
> Party has nothing to do with Red Shirts: Annuar
PETALING JAYA: Umno has renounced its responsibility over the Red Shirts rally held in front of Malaysiakini news portal headquarters.
In distancing the Malay party from the controversial group, information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pix) said Umno had nothing to do with the movement despite it being led by Umno Sungai Besar division chief Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos.
Prompted by reporters to comment on Saturday’s gathering, Annuar replied: “Why do you ask me? I have got nothing to do with it (the rally).
“It has nothing to do with Umno. It was not Umno, it was Jamal,” he told a press conference at Selangor Umno headquarters.
Some 400 Red Shirt participants held a rally at Malaysiakini office to protest against the funding allegedly received by the news portal from Open Society Foundation, a grant-making organisation run by business magnate George Soros.
Jamal had initially estimated 20,000 protesters would participate in the march and vowed to “destroy” Malaysiakini’s building.
Meanwhile, journalism advocate group Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) condemned the act of several Red Shirt participants harassing journalists on duty during the rally.
The group said it had received complaints and a video showing a journalist covering the gathering harassed by a Red Shirt member who had his face covered.
“During the demonstration, several protesters blamed the media whom they accused of blocking their march towards the police line.
Geramm is consistent on upholding the rights of all media practitioners to perform their duties and we urge all parties to do the same, it said in a statement.