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Who is the leader of the group of middle aged men whose vulgar protest in front of Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan's house last Tuesday drew condemnations?
While the group leader, Mohd. Ali Baharom, shot to infamy with what is now known as the 'butt protest', a little known fact is that in 2006, Ali had paid a whopping RM250,000 in order to be called a 'Datuk'.
>Link Info : General Issues - Datukship
Five years later, he told UMNO mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia that he was sorry for misleading the media and public over his Datukship, confessing that he was among those who had been lured to part with the large sum with a dodgy agent selling royal titles.
But Ali also followed the age-old belief that 'sharing is caring'.
“I also bought a 'Datuk' title for another friend for the same amount, the total cost including the cost of entertainment for the agent came to around RM1 million," said Ali in the report published in January last year. He added that he believed the honorific on his name would brighten his future in business.
On Tuesday, Ali, who is president of a little-known group called Malay Army Veterans Association, appeared with his followers carrying explicit posters condemning Ambiga and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and stood with their rears facing Ambiga's home in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
Recalling the incident, Ambiga told news portal Malaysiakini that she served her taunters with soft drinks, only to be told by Ali that as Malay Muslims, they would only drink 'air suam' (warm water).
While Ali's attempt to tie religion and race with his taste for the country's cheapest drink on the menu may have surprised Malaysians, his action has attracted condemnations.
"When UMNO displays such dirty behaviour, innocent Muslims had to carry the shame. Now when even UMNO's non-Muslim friends criticised their antics, do the think that other Muslims are not embarassed?" asked PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar in his reaction. UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin and Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon have also both criticised the antics of anti-Ambiga protesters at the residential neighbourhood.