Group of youths creates a ruckus at anti-GST rally

Protesters holding signs at the anti-GST rally in Malaysia.

KUALA LUMPUR - A minor scuffle broke out between a group of youths wearing the Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) t-shirts and PAS' Unit Amal volunteers during the anti-GST rally.

The commotion came after the youths attempted to enter the field in Dataran Merdeka, which both the organisers and police had agreed would be off limits to the rally.

The youths were seen throwing water bottles and trying to push through the human barricade formed by the Unit Amal officers.

One of those involved in the scuffle was 24-year-old SAMM member Romi Erawan, who claimed that the volunteers were "acting like police".

Asked why the group wanted to enter Dataran Merdeka as it had been agreed that this would be off limits, Romi said: "There are no pacts between lions and men. Can you understand that?

"We need to enter but they blocked us. We want to access the field. We are here to fight - not fight physically but fight the Government. But Unit Amal is blocking us.

Earlier, a group of youths wearing the same t-shirts had entered Jalan Raja in a plume of orange smoke, supposedly from a gas canister, causing some 30 media personnel to converge on them.

This then escalated into a brief scuffle between press members and the youths, during which a Xinhua news agency videographer was kicked and had a wooden flagpole hurled at him.

Confirming the gas canister incident, SAMM coordinator Badrul Hisham Shaharin however denied that any of its members were involved in the scuffle with Unit Amal, adding that he did not recognise anyone in the video footage that he saw.

The t-shirts could be bought anywhere, he said.

Later, a Unit Amal volunteer, who wished to be known only as Wan Faisal, said he was giving the SAMM members who wanted to enter Dataran Merdeka the benefit of the doubt due to their young age.