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10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Police declare tonight's Janji Demokrasi rally illegal

The police have announced that the Janji Demokrasi gathering tonight is against the law.
NONEOrganising committee member Maria Chin Abdullah, when contacted, confirmed that Dang Wangi district police chief Zainuddin Ahmad sent her an official letter about an hour ago.
"I received the letter around 2.15pm by hand. A few policemen came," she told Malaysiakini.
Regardless, she said Gabungan Janji, a coalition of 47 NGOs, would still go to Dataran Merdeka despite the letter.
In case the rally’s participants are barred from entering the historic field, she said the committee would then ask people to “celebrate where they are.”
“This is a Merdeka celebration, people can celebrate it anywhere in town. We hope that they will wear yellow.
“We just want to celebrate Merdeka, but the police are making it difficult,” she said.
The letter said that the rally is illegal because the organisers have failed to give Zainuddin advance notice of the rally and for failing to obtain permission from the venue’s owner, Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
Both conditions are required under Section 9(1) and Section 11 of the Public Assembly Act 2012, respectively.
In addition, Zainuddin wrote that the rally would affect the preparations for tomorrow morning’s Merdeka Day celebrations.
Participants reminded of do’s and dont’s
However, Maria rebutted, insisting that the rally would not disturb the official Merdeka celebrations.
"We are not there to disturb the official Merdeka celebration. That's why we chose (the) fountain which is very, very far from the celebration," she said.
NONEFollowing the receipt of the letter, Gabungan Janji’s Facebook page issued a notice informing would-be participants of the letter and reminded them of several do’s and don’ts.
These are: No banners or placards; no provocation; no loudspeakers; do not approach RTM’s broadcasting equipment and for participants to follow the organiser’s instructions.
The rally, meant to remind the government of unfulfilled promises for clean and fair elections, was slated to be held on the northern corner of Dataran Merdeka, at 10pm today, but was later changed to 11pm.
Its name is a play of the government’s official theme for the national day celebrations, ‘Janji Ditepati’ (Promises Delivered).
On the field nearby, an officially-sanctioned countdown is to take place while parades are also scheduled for tomorrow morning in the same area.
Meanwhile, Preserving Jalan Sultan and Jalan Bukit Bintang Committee chairperson Stanley Yong told Malaysiakini that as of 4pm, he has yet to receive any letter from the police and its planstonight will continue.
The committee intends to hold a march to old Klang bus station from Gospel Hall church, near Jalan Sultan, at 8.30pm tonight to pressure the government to preserve the street from the effects of construction works for the MRT project.

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