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Dataran Merdeka declared as no-go zone

April 26, 2012

KL mayor uses a by-law to temporarily close the venue for the Saturday Bersih sit-in rally from tomorrow 6am to Sunday morning.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dataran Merdeka and all roads leading to the iconic venue will be temporarily closed effective 6am tomorrow to 6am Sunday.

Kuala Lumpur Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail in a statement today citing the 1992 Local Government (Dataran Merdeka) (Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory) by-law said that no gathering can be held at Dataran Merdeka without a written consent by the mayor.

The City Hall (DBKL) had previously rejected an application to hold a Bersih sit-in rally at Dataran Merdeka on Saturday because it was not a national event that would benefit the people.

DBKL had instead offered the Titiwangsa Stadium, Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras as alternative venues while the Malaysian Stadium Board had also offered the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Home Minister’s warning

Meanwhile, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the police are duty-bound to ensure public order and that this is not threatened by any party.

He said this in commenting on the possibility of the organisers of the planned rally at Dataran Merdeka this weekend being adamant about proceeding with it.

“We have already compromised and offered alternative venues to them…but if they choose to be stubborn, it will be up to the police (to take the necessary action,” he said.

“I hope the organisers can assemble at the alternative venues offered in the spirit of political transformation and changes brought about by the government. As such, all parties should contribute towards building a healthy and mature democracy in the country,” he told reporters today.

He said police and other authorities were willing to facilitate the smooth running of the assembly if the organisers opted for any of the alternative venues offered.

“However, based on the feedback we have received, the organisers are adamant about using Dataran Merdeka as the venue for the rally,” he added.

- Bernama


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