No DBKL nod for Pakatan’s Padang Merbok rally, Ku Nan confirms
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will not permit Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to use Padang Merbok for its mass rally this June 15, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said today.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general denied, however, that this was intended to stop the federal opposition pact from hosting the event, saying instead that the venue was not suitable as it was an open space.
He advised PR to move its plans to indoor venues such as stadiums or other appropriate locations.
“We allow them to hold their gathering in closed areas. I was informed by the (KL) Mayor that they applied to use Padang Merbok.
“But to me, Padang Merbok is an open space... in open spaces, we will not give (our permission) because we know the law and abide by it,” he said when approached after a function at KL Sentral here.
The Putrajaya MP later criticised the attitudes of opposition leaders whom he alleged were encouraging unlawful behaviour among Malaysians by their actions.
“I would like to advise that we live in a place with law and order. The opposition is trying to create this environment to the people where it is like we live in the jungle... we do not follow the laws of the jungle,” he said.
Tengku Adnan also urged the opposition to call off its protests and accept the fact that they lost the 13th general election, adding that they should focus on their responsibilities to the constituents who voted for them.
“If you were defeated, just accept the reality,” he said.
PR chose Padang Merbok as its June 15 rally venue after the authorities advised them against using the iconic Dataran Merdeka as the venue.
PKR strategy director and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said last week that notices for the planned rally ― scheduled for 2pm next Saturday ― were submitted to the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, adding that he expects no arrests to be made since the protest will be done in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act (PPA).
“The decision to hold the ‘Black 505’ rally at Padang Merbok took into considerations the Royal Malaysia Police’s advice against using Dataran Merdeka, although we feel that Dataran Merdeka is the most suitable for the rakyat to gather and voice their aspiration contained in the ‘Black 505’ demands,” he told reporters at PKR’s headquarters here.
“Black 505” was created as a movement of protest against allegations of widespread irregularities in the May 5 general election that saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) retain power despite losing the popular vote.
Earlier today, the Bar Council appeared to suggest that the police have been exploiting the ten-day prior notice clause in the Peaceful Assembly Act (PPA) to block the opposition from holding its street rallies.
Its president, Christopher Leong, criticised the authorities for charging PR leaders for allegedly violating the PPA by failing to issue the notice before holding several “Black 505” protests nationwide, arguing that it was unnecessary for them to do so.
“There is no reason for the rally organisers to be charged. For me, the provision for ten-day notice is ridiculous,” Leong told reporters after attending a forum on the redrawing of constituency lines here, adding that he noticed a “trend” by the authorities to use the law as the reason to prosecute the leaders.
The Bar Council president noted that the prior notice requirement under the PPA was merely drawn to give the authorities time to arrange, facilitate and ensure a rally is held peacefully.
“Under the PPA, there is no approval needed... the ten-day requirement is not a good provision,” he said.
Leong’s criticism comes as Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar suggested that the opposition had failed to meet the criteria of the provision when it notified the police about its plan to hold a mass rally at Padang Merbok.
According to Sinar Harian today, Khalid said the notice was incomplete following PR’s failure to obtain approval to hold a protest against the alleged fraudulent practices in Election 2013 from the city council DBKL.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that PR could proceed with the planned June 15 rally, dubbed “Black 505”, if it is conducted within the provisions of the PPA.
Immediately after the May 5 polls, PKR’s #siasatPRU13 team made a series of exposés on what it claimed was proof of polls fraud as the opposition moved to pressure Putrajaya to implement polls reform, starting with the complete overhaul of the Elections Commission (EC).
PR and other civil society groups have since held mammoth rallies since May 5 to push their agenda for reform, outlining three main conditions with the first being the resignation of all EC members for its failure to ensure a free and fair Election 2013.
The “Black 505” rallies as they are called, were also created as a movement of protest against PR’s claims of irregularities during the polls, which saw the ruling BN retain power despite losing the popular vote.
If all previous "Black 505" mammoth rallies are taken as a gauge, where there were no untoward incidents and public disturbances nor being a threat to public safety and order, there should be NO REASON to reject the use of Merbok Padang for the June 15 rally. Only those who are envious and fearful of the truth being told would reject the application. DBKL must not act according to the beck and call of UMNO. After all, Isn't it UMNO that heads the Federal Ministry?
For goodness sake BN, just let fellow Malaysians mix and enjoy themselves during the rally. It is so different from the daily dosage of racists remarks we read everyday. No politician will every break the spirits of Malaysians wanting to rally peacefully and wanting to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Even the hawkers and small businesses want business, why are you impeding them?
We will rally on June 15th!