Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has justified its clampdown on Occupy Dataran activists, saying that it had given the movement many “chances” before finally deciding to take action today.
This is despite the fact that legal provisions, specifically the local ordinances, gave City Hall the power to do so.
“We’re not using any new laws. The ‘undang-undang kecil Dataran Merdeka’ has been there for more than 10 years.
“We gave these people a chance before, gave them chances to stop it, to walk away. They did not heed our advice... so we took action today,” DBKL’s corporate planning division head Dr Ismail Stapa told The Malaysian Insider.
“The by-law has always been there, its just that we did not enforce it before today. Now we are left with no choice but to do so,” he stressed.
DBKL detained four pro-Occupy Dataran activists today, hours after chasing the movement away from Dataran Merdeka.
DBKL officers had earlier this morning seized tents and camping equipment belonging to Occupy Dataran activists, and put up steel barricades to stop them from camping there.
“Anyone who wants to use Dataran Merdeka, they have to get permission from the mayor. You cannot have demonstrations or political gatherings there, that is how it has always been.
“Even if you want to lepak (hang out) there, sometimes you can’t simply do that,” Ismail said.
Two days ago, DBKL officers along with the police seized camping equipment and tents and arrested two activists. One of them was charged in court yesterday with obstructing a public officer in the execution of his duty.
Asked to comment on DBKL’s actions today, Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail reiterated Dataran Merdeka could not be occupied illegally.
“Action will be taken against them (those who occupy the venue illegally),” he told reporters.
Occupy Dataran’s stated aim is to reclaim public spaces for the purpose of promoting participatory democracy.
The campsite was also shared by student activists demanding the elimination of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan scheme, but they had suspended all activities and vacated the area to make way for a royal concert.
Today’s clampdown comes four days before this weekend’s Bersih 3.0 rally.
Dataran Merdeka does not belong to DBKL. It is a public place and is public property. It is not private property belonging to DBKL. DBKL is merely the local authority which has been ENTRUSTED by the public to maintain Dataran Merdeka using taxes paid by the public. So Mr. Mayor, Dataran Merdeka belongs to the citizens & taxpayers of this country. I fall into both categories and I have no problem with Bersih rally being held there. Next, is DBKL empowered to use force to remove property and persons from there ? As far as I understand the law, if Dataran Merdeka is being "illegally" occupied, then DBKL must get the Police to act. DBKL is not empowered to use force.
i will take my books, newspaper and sit at Dataran from 6am to 6pm come this 28th with my Bersih T, i am rakyat of Malaysia, my taxes goes to maintenance of dataran and i have the RIGHTS to use it. chase me away if you DARE mr major
We will not just seek a change of govt in the next GE13, after that, we should also seek to change the Bully-Rakyat management of DBKL. They are just croonies and/or servants of BN/UMNO, and they do not serve the interest of the Rakyat who are their TRUE EMPLOYERS!
GREAT, if according to DBKL statement, that mean any tourists wanna visit DATARAN MERDEKA have to write to the KL mayor and wait for his replies. then let the info publish it in Malaysia's tourism web page. the DBKL 's law must notify to our tourist friends. i wanna see how the response of the tourism would be.
To act lawfully or not to act lawfully, that's the question.
It seems when it is against people standing up for fair election, clean environment or equal rights, the authorities act lawfully; but when it comes to investigating and apprehending corrupted politicians, the authorities do not act lawfully... Give Malaysia a break!
Now DBKL is the new bad guy. I wish they are careful of what they are doing, they might get burn badly when the people move as one. Be afraid, be very afraid, hear the people not hurt the people.