The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) said today that Padang Merbok needs to be available for logistics preparation on June 22 as its June 23 run will pass through the area, despite flagging off from Dataran Merdeka.
OCM honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said that its McDonald’s Olympic Run, which has been held annually on June 23 since 1994 in celebration of Olympic Day, would involve 15,000 runners and that the venue was booked at the end of last year.
“We are actually starting to set up on June 21st after 3pm, and then on 22nd after 6pm,” Sieh told
“We hope, out of the goodwill of everyone, let us organise the run. We’re doing the run for the benefit of people to stay healthy,” added the representative from the sports NGO.
PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli insisted earlier today that Padang Merbok would be available for Pakatan Rakyat’s Black505 rally as the OCM run was scheduled to take place at Dataran Merdeka.
The Pandan MP then expressed disappointment at KL mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib’s claim that Padang Merbok would not be available for PR’s June 22 rally against electoral fraud, saying it appeared as if the City Hall was bowing to political pressure from Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).
Sieh, however, pointed out today that runners would pass through Padang Merbok on June 23 and that most would park their cars near the field.
“The run will affect the Padang Merbok area. That’s why DBKL is saying that it’s covering the Padang Merbok area,” he said, referring to the City Hall by its Malay acronym.
Sieh added that four runs – 3km, 5km, 7km and 10km – would start from Dataran Merdeka on June 23 at 7.30am and end at the same place by 11am.
At a press conference yesterday, Ahmad urged PR to select another venue for the rally, preferably a closed-door area like a stadium, saying the field would be needed for “logistic preparations” for OCM’s June 23 event.
The mayor also said holding the rally at the open, public venue would pose traffic concerns for motorists travelling along Jalan Parlimen, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Raja and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
Rafizi, however, said today that PR leaders will meet Ahmad on June 14, but will not budge from the federal opposition pact’s decision to stage the rally at Padang Merbok on June 22.
Lame excuses to deprive the public from accessing public areas which belong to the public. The powers that be must be reminded constantly that this country does not belong to their grandfathers. They are taking us for a ride and seem to be enjoying it and getting away with it. Abuse of powers to the core.
Maybe PR should have the event on 23 Jun after the race.
Runner could join in adding to the crowd.
See what-else DBKL has to say...