PRESS STATEMENT (12 NOVEMBER 2016): Malaysians must condemn gangster behaviour of red and black shirts

BERSIH 2.0 condemns the outrageous and bully tactics of Jamal Yunos and his red shirt gangsters and now the black shirts, too.
At Bangi today, the red shirts have again used criminal intimidation to stop and frustrate the BERSIH 5 convoy. They tore BERSIH materials, tried to damage car windows, and Jamal himself was filmed verbally abusing a BERSIH supporter.
When the BERSIH 2.0 motorists tried to continue with their convoy, the red shirt motorists revved their motorbikes and deliberately blocked our security bikers from carrying out their duties of ensuring the convoy’s safety.
The red shirts also made their presence felt in Labuan by blocking the BERSIH convoy there, knocking on the cars, and harassing our participants.
In another incident, a group of black shirts disrupted the convoy in Tanjung Malim. They tried to prevent the Perak team from meeting the Selangor team to hand over the torch by physically blocking the road.
Despite the disturbance, the torch was handed over successfully although the black shirts continued to yell at our group.
Since the start of the BERSIH 5 convoy, there has been nothing peaceful about the red shirts. Instead their behaviour has been mobster-like and their actions are tantamount to criminal intimidation. Yet we witness no action or reprimand from the police and they seem to be let off free while activists are piled with numerous police investigations.
BERSIH stresses that we have always been peaceful in all our activities and we have given our utmost cooperation to the police. Never once did we raise a hand against the red shirts. We are not at war, we are advocating for free and fair elections and good governance – peacefully.
The reactions from the red shirts reflect complete ignorance and disrespect for diversity in opinions. Due to their lack of understanding, they are the very antigens of freedom of speech and assembly.
We thank the police who have carried out their duties in maintaining peaceful assemblies and reined in these violent hooligans.
On 19 November, BERSIH and our supporters will gather and we will cooperate with the police to maintain a peaceful assembly.
Issued by BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee members