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.

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