Aris Awang, who was in charge of Gerakan Harapan Baru chairperson Mohamad Sabu’s security during the Bersih 4 rally has apologised for the lax control.
This was after several photographs of women getting close and touching Mohamad during the Bersih 4 rally went viral on the internet and was used by rivals to slam him.
“The situation was out of control and my carelessness led to incidences which were deemed inappropriate by the Muslim community,” he said in a statement today.
Aris explained that the situation came about after people of all races swarmed Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, for photographs, autographs and to shake his hand.
He said Harapan Baru’s new volunteer corp Arif will try to improve for future assignments.
Among the photographs that had gone viral was of a middle-aged woman grabbing Mohamad’s hand and what appeared to be a teenage girl tilting her head to Mohamad’s shoulder for a photograph.
“The incidences happened when Mohamad was moving from one stage to another through the tens of thousands of participants.
“I had given instructions for security control not to be too strict so as to be rakyat-friendly but did not expect to be swarmed when Mohamad turned up, to the extent that some were hysterical in wanting to take a selfie with him.
“Once again, I apologise on the incidences which had offended my Muslims.
“It was our weakness in providing security to the new Harapan Baru chairperson,” he said.
The Bersih 4 rally kicked off last Saturday at 2pm and ran for 34 hours.
Participants demanded for reforms to the country’s institutions as well as the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak who is plagued by several scandals.