Home Minister reported saying underworld group “not real thugs”, calls them “our friends”
In a video clip uploaded by a news portal, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) appears to have endorsed the actions of the Tiga Line underworld group, despite adopting a tough stance on gangs.
The Tiga Line group was on a list of 49 secret societies released by the Home Ministry in August amid promises by authorities to crack down on these groups.
However, news portal Malaysiakini reported that Ahmad Zahid appears to have a soft spot for the Tiga Line group, calling them "his friends and urging them to do what they needed to do". It also uploaded a video clip of Zahid making the claims.
Ahmad Zahid allegedly made these remarks at an event in Malacca on Saturday. He also warned journalists, who were there and then told to leave, not to report his statements.
The journalists were allegedly told that their respective organisations would be closed down if any of his comments were published.
However, Malaysiakini managed to obtain a 20-minute recording of Ahmad Zahid's speech, in which he was addressing Umno delegates at a government function.
The event was held at the Malacca International Trade Centre (MITC) in Ayer Keroh and entitled "Security briefing ceremony with community leaders".
It was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister's department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Ahmad Zahid started out by declaring that police were colour blind in their anti-gang operations.
"Police have checked out 178,217 Malays, 77,104 Chinese, 73,505 Indians and 55,517 other races in their crackdown on the underworld," Ahmad Zahid reportedly said.
Of the total number checked, 14,511 were found to be members of secret societies.
It was then that Ahmad Zahid's words reportedly took a strange twist as he focused on Tiga Line and declared that the group members were not really thugs.
"Of the 14,511 who were secret society members, 6,171 were Malays but they are not real thugs. They are Pekida members and part of the Tiga Line group, Gang 30 and Gang 7.
"I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done," Ahmad Zahid said to loud cheers from his audience.
Ahmad Zahid apparently referred to Tiga Line on a first person basis, saying: "We are not evil, I know. I have checked, we gather during festivals with our siblings, we gather when there are projects.
"I see here, the candidates here, all four of them are Tiga Line," Ahmad Zahid reportedly said while laughing.
In his speech, Ahmad Zahid apparently referred to Umno supreme council candidate Shahidan Kassim as the biggest Tiga Line gangster, in jest.
After his Tiga Line moment, Ahmad Zahid resumed his tough talk against criminals, claiming he had initiated the crackdown against the underworld as he felt insulted by the daily shootings.
He apparently also took a racial stance on crime, declaring that Malays were the usual victims.
"The biggest drug dealers are Chinese, the smaller dealers are Indians and the users are Malays," Ahmad Zahid allegedly said.
"On internet gambling, the bosses are Chinese, the operators are Indians and the patrons are Malays.
"Therefore the actual victims are Malays," Ahmad Zahid allegedly said, adding that he was the Home Minister because of Malay support which had carried him to an Umno vice-presidency.
When Ahmad Zahid became aware there were journalists present in the audience, he initially told them to omit some of his words midway through his speech.
However, he later backtracked completely and declared the event to be a closed-door function.
Members of the media were then unceremoniously told to leave with other members of the audience heckling and shouting at the reporters.
The event organisers later told journalists that the entire incident was a misunderstanding.
Ayer Keroh state assemblyman Khoo Poay Tiong, who gave Malaysiakini a copy of Ahmad Zahid's recording, rubbished Ahmad Zahid's assertion that it was a closed-door event.
He said that the media seating area had been prepared but journalists were suddenly threatened and told to leave at the end. – October 7, 2013.
WILL THE MALAY GOD USE TIGA LINE TO SECURE HIS SEAT AS VP in the UMNO ASSEMBLY?
AND IS THIS NOT PROOF THAT UMNO BARU IS RUN BY MALAY GANGSTERS AND BREEDING SCHOOL FOR FUTURE ISLAMIC GANGSTERISM.