Ali Tinju cries ‘extreme’ over disciplinary warning from military vets


(Malay Mail Online) – Former soldier Mohd Ali Baharom, better known as Ali Tinju, has cried foul over the disciplinary action caution from the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association (PVATM).

The leader of the “red shirt” movement that purports to champion Malay, Muslim rights insisted all his actions using the military association’s name were in the interest of the race and country, after a rap on the knuckles from the PVATM central leadership yesterday.

“The allegations made are too extreme. During Bersih, we saw them invite the rakyat to rise against the government. At that time, no one could stop Bersih from demonstrating in the streets, making chaos in business areas,” he told Projek MMO, the sister publication of Malay Mail Online in Bahasa Malaysia.

“I and my colleagues in the veteran Malay military gave Ambiga warnings until she finally issued a statement that there would be no Bersih 3 and 4,” he added, referring to Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, former co-chairman of electoral reforms pressure group Bersih 2.0 and the 2011 protest that saw tens of thousands that flooded the streets in the federal capital.

Mohd Ali has courted controversies previously with his “butt dance” outside Ambiga’s home in the wake of the Bersih 2 rally. Earlier this year, he was investigated for racial provocation outside popular tech mall Low Yat Plaza but escaped prosecution, ostensibly due to lack of evidence.

Last Friday, he demonstrated outside the Kotaraya shopping centre, calling for a boycott and urging the government to teach ethnic Chinese not to cheat.

Yesterday, the PVATM executive leadership accused Mohd Ali of making racial sentiments and warned the former soldier with the Royal Malay Regiment that disciplinary action would be taken if he continued holding activities that tarnished its image.

In response, Mohd Ali accused PVATM president Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor of failing to take care of the welfare of military veterans even though he has been a senator for a year.

According to Mohd Ali, Mohd Anwar was more focused in guarding his own interests and did not raise military welfare in Parliament.

“Tan Sri, though a former general [sic], is still new in the association. He has never contested. He was given power to govern the association but still failed,” he said, referring to Mohd Anwar by his title.

Mohd Anwar was formerly admiral of the Royal Malaysian Navy who was later promoted to chief of the armed forces before his subsequent retirement from defence. Previous heads of the country’s three military forces were from the army.

Mohd Ali further claimed Mohd Anwar had never raised the welfare of pensioned military veterans in Parliament and was instead just sitting on the job, despite being appointed to the Dewan Negara.

“Tan Sri Anwar’s knowledge is shallow and he is inexperienced in the NGO journey and struggle after retiring from the military,” Mohd Ali added, without elaborating.

The one time head of the Federal Territory and Selangor chapter of PVATM is also appealing to the Registrar of Societies against its dissolution.

“Since its establishment in 2009 till today, I have only received RM100,000 from the defence minister as allocation for the association. The remainder, I used my own money.

“From 2012 to 2015, not one sen in assistance was given by the Defence Ministry. Different from the PVATM, they get millions from the warrior’s fund every year. They also get taxi permits and various government projects,” Mohd Ali claimed.