Plans for 'red shirt' rally in Malacca called off as Malay rights activist Ali Tinju bows to pressure

Malay rights activist Mohd Ali Baharom.
Malay rights activist Mohd Ali Baharom.PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A planned 'red shirt' rally in Malacca this weekend was called off on Thursday (Oct 8) after its organiser, Malay rights activist Mohd Ali Baharom, called off the protest, bowing to pressure from authorities.

Mohd Ali - better known as Ali Tinju - said he was calling off Saturday's protest at Taman Melaka Raya to respect the Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday, which falls on that day.

He had previously said that the rally was aimed at pushing for justice for a Malay immigration officer who was allegedly beaten up by Chinese gangsters last week in Malacca city.

"Authorities told us to cancel the protest. I respect their advice because on that day, it is the Yang di-Pertua Negri's birthday and we will respect his birthday," he said when contacted by The Star Online on Thursday.

Mohd Ali said he had received calls from politicians and the police, urging him to call off the rally.

State Immigration Department deputy director Abu Bakar Sidek Hassan had also told him not to use the incident as an excuse to hold his planned rally. 

"I did not know that it was the Yang di-Pertua's birthday on that day. If I had known, I would not have planned the rally," he added.

In the alleged assault at a pub, some 40 thugs were said to have manhandled government officers during a raid, including three officers who were among 19 from the immigration department.

Mohd Ali is no stranger to controversy, as he had been called in by police over a speech he made following a brawl at Low Yat Plaza in July.

He was subsequently investigated under the Sedition Act.