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Monday, November 7, 2016

After Malaysiakini, Red Shirt 'monkeys' to rally against ‘more dangerous’ Bar Council

KUALA LUMPUR - Fresh from their weekend protest against news portal Malaysiakini, the Red Shirts movement led by Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos announced today the target of its next ire — the Bar Council.

The Sungai Besar Umno chief accused the executive arm of the Malaysian Bar of disrespecting Malaysians by admitting to receiving funding from American business magnate George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF).

“We will hold a mass protest to demand the government to dissolve the Bar Council, it is time for the government to take action against them.

“They are more dangerous than Malaysiakini because they know the laws, they are involved with our country’s legislation,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

“We are surprised by Bar Council’s remarks, that there is nothing wrong in receiving fund from OSF. For me, he doesn’t respect the people of Malaysia,” he added.

However, Jamal did not elaborate on how the Bar Council had shown disrespect to citizens by accepting funding for its migrant research work, nor why it was wrong for them to do so.

He only said the Red Shirts’ protest plans were yet to be finalised, but added that it would be held in the near future.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar recently said the Bar Council is being investigated under security laws for allegedly attempting to undermine parliamentary democracy.

But Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru has expressed bewilderment that acceptance of the OSF grant could endanger Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy.

The lawyer told Malay Mail Online yesterday that Malaysian laws do not forbid non-governmental organisations from using foreign funds for research purposes, adding that the Bar Council goes a step further to ensure the money doesn’t originate from a forbidden source.

“We would check to ensure it does not emanate from a proscribed organisation/individual,” he said.

“We would insist that no conditions are attached. This grant came with no strings/conditions attached and we could independently use it for the research work,” he added.

Some 700 Red Shirts demonstrated outside Malaysiakini’s Petaling Jaya, Selangor last Saturday protesting the news portal’s one-time grant from the OSF for a documentary.

The protest, under the watchful eye of anti-riot police, ended with little incident except for several bags of trash that were dumped by some Red Shirts at Malaysiakini’s gate.

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