Malaysian police arrest Malay NGO leader for threats in rally speech

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, BERNAMA) - Malaysian police on Wednesday (Dec 26) arrested a Malay NGO leader for his provocative speech during a rally held on Tuesday to seek a minister's resignation over the November temple riot incident.

The president of Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) Azwanddin Hamzah Ariffin Abu Bakar was picked up by police in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon for investigations, after he used provocative language and repeatedly used a derogatory word against National Unity and Social Well-being Minister P. Waytha Moorthy at the rally in Klang.

He had also urged the crowd to attack a police station if no action was taken in the murder case of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Mr Muhammad Adib was severely injured on Nov 27 after being attacked by a mob near the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Subang Jaya. He was part of a team of firemen sent to douse some burning cars near the temple grounds. He died on Dec 17 after being treated at the National Heart Institute

Violence had erupted at the Hindu temple a day earlier, when about 50 men stormed the temple with weapons, threatening temple devotees and asking them to leave the premises.

Selangor CID chief Fadzil Ahmat said Datuk Azwanddin was being investigated under the Penal Code for criminal intimidation and for insulting someone.

"He will be remanded at Klang court around 9am tomorrow," he said when contacted on Wednesday.

The rally where Mr Azwanddin delivered his speech was organised by Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Geras) which represents over 100 non-governmental organisations.

Geras president Abu Bakar Mohamed expressed regret over the words uttered by the JMM president, saying that it was against the guidelines set by Geras to all the speakers at the rally.

About 5,000 people attended the rally to seek justice over Mr Muhammad Adib's death and to call for the dismissal of Mr P. Waytha Moorthy from office.

To date, 24 people have been charged in connection with the temple riot.