KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 ― Umno members will join the “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” rally on September 16 rally if they are invited, the party’s executive secretary Datuk Ab Rauf Yusof said today.
Ab Rauf reportedly said Umno members are free to participate in the rally in Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Day and said they would not be barred from doing so.
“Umno will not stop its members from joining. I can state that Umno will be there if we are invited,” he was quoted saying by The Star Online.
The news site also reported Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as denying that the party was involved in organising the rally and citing a Malay non-governmental organisation instead.
Ismail Sabri, who is also a minister, said he will be sending party members to join in the rally in his capacity as Bera Umno division chief.
A yet-to-be-known group has made calls via social media for a September 16 rally which in different circles is referred to as either “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or “Himpunan Maruah Melayu”, asking its participants to wear red.
Posters being spread on social media carry messages for Malays to unite in solidarity against a varied cause ranging from protests against political party DAP to polls reform group Bersih 2.0.
Though not much is known of its organisers, another anti-Bersih group leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos had reportedly said the September 16 rally’s organising group is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday.
The red-shirted group headed by Jamal – also the Sungai Besar Umno division chief – gained prominence for breaking roof tiles with their heads and beating each other with sticks in front of Sogo in a display of “self-defence” skills.
The group later called off its plans to stage a counter-rally called “Bersih 4 Peace” to last weekend’s Bersih 4 rally for institutional reforms after being advised by the police.
Last Saturday, Jamal promised to gather one million red-shirted people to rally behind Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at popular tech mall Low Yat at prime shopping area Bukit Bintang in an October 10 rally.