Umno leader arrested over threat of riot in Malaysia's Petaling Street

Jamal Md Yunos (centre), waves as he marches along with his supporters during a pro-government demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 16, 2015.
Jamal Md Yunos (centre), waves as he marches along with his supporters during a pro-government demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 16, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The red shirt rally planned for Saturday (Sept 26) has run into problems after an Umno local leader who had theatened a riot in Petaling Street was arrested and another man backtracked on his vow to "attack the place every week".

Datuk Jamal Md Yunos, the Sungai Besar Umno chief, was arrested by a team from the Dang Wangi police station at 9pm on Friday, according to his secretary Durrany Izam.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief SAC Datuk Zainuddin Ahmad confirmed that Jamal had been arrested under Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code over his alleged threat to cause a riot.

Earlier in the day, Jamal had disassociated himself from the rally and said he would not be there on Saturday.

"I am not involved, and I am not going to be in Petaling Street," he said, adding that he did not know if others would gather.

On Friday, Jamal had said he was present at the Sept 16 rally as a middleman.

"The police asked me to help disperse the crowd and that is all I did," he said, adding that he did not organise either rally.

Meantime, Mohd Ali Baharom, who claimed to be one of the organisers, backtracked on his vow to attack Petaling Street.

He had said on Friday that "we will attack Petaling Street every week until shop lots are allocated to Malays and Indians."

It was later reported on a news portal that he, too, had called off the rally. However, he did not rule out a rally held by others.

"We can't guarantee there won't be a rally tomorrow (Saturday). If there is, it's not from us," he was quoted as saying.

The red shirt rally on Sept 16 was held in support of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak and aimed at asserting the Malays' political power. It was meant to counter last month's Bersih protest, which called for Datuk Seri Najib to step down over a funding controversy and attended largely by Chinese.

The rally was largely peaceful, although police were forced to disperse an unruly crowd in Petaling Street with water cannon.