Police: Certain parties intended to cause trouble at debate

Mohd-Fuad-Abdul-LatiffPETALING JAYA: Selangor police say – based on intelligence gathered – that “certain parties” would have caused trouble at the highly anticipated debate between former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and federal minister Nazri Aziz had the debate been allowed to carry on.

In a statement, Selangor deputy police chief Deputy Comm Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff listed this as among the reasons why they cancelled the permit for the debate.

Fuad also said that till today, police had received 18 police reports from members of the public living around the Karangkraf Group’s complex in Shah Alam, where the debate was supposed to be held.

“They (those who lodged reports) were very concerned over the safety of their families. These are protests from stakeholders under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.”

Fuad said police weren’t only concerned about the public’s safety and security on the day of the debate – which was to be held on April 7 – but also took into account the situation from now until after the debate had it proceeded.

“In light of the latest developments, taking into account the safety of the public, the Shah Alam police chief has cancelled the permit.”

He called on all parties to adhere to the instructions of the Shah Alam police chief and warned that strict action will be taken according to the law if the debate goes ahead.

Yesterday, the debate’s organiser, Karangkraf, told local Malay daily Sinar Harian they had received a letter from the Shah Alam district police chief ACP Shafien Mamat on the cancellation.

Karangkraf managing director Hussamuddin Yaacub said he was bemused as police had earlier yesterday given approval for the debate to go on.

He said preparations for the debate had already been completed but they would abide by the decision as it respected the government’s decision not to pursue the debate.
Mahathir had challenged Nazri to debate on issues such as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) controversies, and the RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi royalty.

It can’t go on, cops say to Mahathir-Nazri debate