KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian police said they will haul up Umno member Jamal Yunos, the spokesman for the "red shirts" rally held earlier this month, for threatening to stage another protest in Petaling Street tomorrow.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said police would "definitely" take action against the Sungai Besar Umno chief, including arresting him if he is found culpable of instigating chaos.
"If Jamal has indeed expressed threatening words, if we find him culpable of inciting a riot, we will take action. We will call him in very soon," he noted.
Deputy IGP Noor Rashid said that for now, police would be investigating Mr Jamal for rioting under Section 143 of the Penal Code.
He clarified that police had the authority to detain anyone under Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a preventive measure.
NO ROOM FOR INSTIGATION
If Jamal has indeed expressed threatening words, if we find him culpable of inciting a riot, we will take action. We will call him in very soon.
DEPUTY INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE NOOR RASHID IBRAHIM
"We have the authority to carry out arrests to prevent any crime, including rioting, from happening," he added.
According to him, the police will mobilise personnel in Petaling Street tomorrow as a precautionary measure.
"We will make all the necessary preparations to ensure that there will be no disturbance and that it's safe to visit Petaling Street," he told reporters at the Bukit Aman mosque yesterday.
On Wednesday, Mr Jamal warned of "another commotion" in Petaling Street if demands by the red-shirt protesters are not met.
"If the authorities do not take action, I am 99 per cent confident that a gathering will take place and maybe a riot will take place there as well," he told reporters.
Among the group's demands are for the Domestic, Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry to act against the alleged sale of counterfeit goods in Petaling Street, for traders there to share a portion of their income with other races and stop a monopoly in the area.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Tajuddin Md Isa also warned that any action that disrupted public order or safety would not be tolerated.
"We will not condone any street rally or demonstration. The protesters will face the full brunt of the police if they decide to go on with the protest," he said on Wednesday.
Datuk Tajuddin said the police would not hesitate to take action on any individual or group who incited racial tension. "Our priority is the safety and security of the people," he said.
He added that so far, the police had not received any notice or request for permits from Mr Jamal or any other individual to hold the rally. "All rallies must go through the proper procedures. If they really want to hold it, then the rally must be held at a proper place," Mr Tajuddin said.
Mr Jamal told The Star yesterday that he is ready to cooperate with the police should he be called in for questioning.
"I have no problem with the police. They are just doing their job. They have already contacted me to record my statement.
"But because today is Hari Raya Haji, I will see them on a different day. The exact date has not been decided yet," he said.
He also disputed media reports about the comments he made on Wednesday.
"They misunderstood what I said. I am not the one organising the protest at Petaling Street," he said.
"My concern is if the authorities fail to take action against the traders, the same group might return to protest."
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK