|Dataran Merdeka off limits to rally|
|Tuesday, 24 April 2012 08:49am|
©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by AZIZUL RAHMAN ISMAIL AND ELLY FAZANIZA
KUALA LUMPUR: The Kuala Lumpur City Hall has deemed Dataran Merdeka off limits to the Bersih 3.0 rally but suggested three alternative venues for the gathering this Saturday.
The venues suggested are Badminton Stadium and Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras, as well as Titiwangsa Stadium at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail, citing the Local Government (Dataran Merdeka) (Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory) 1992 by-law, said yesterday no gathering can be held at Dataran Merdeka without written consent from the mayor.
Speaking at a press conference at the City Hall headquarters, he said Dataran Merdeka is also not listed as one of the permitted locations (for public assemblies) in the yet to be gazetted Peaceful
Ahmad Fuad said: “We (City Hall) are consistent with our stand since the by-law came into effect. There are many events that we have rejected prior to this.”
These include “Where The Rivers Meet Kuala Lumpur” by UiTM and “Walk of Sight” by Lions Club International in 2010; musical performances by QUIT CCP Services, and a charity run ISKL by the International School Kuala Lumpur in 2011; and the gathering against free sex and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia in 2012. “Generally, we permit sports and cultural (entertainment) events that are beneficial to the public, but we reject events of political nature,” Ahmad Fuad said.
When asked what action would be taken against Bersih 3.0, he said: “It is like they are running a red light, they may do it but it is against the law. We will have to wait until the 28 (April) to see what action, if any, would be taken.”
Meanwhile, the Bersih 2.0 committee, which is organising Bersih 3.0, pushed ahead with their plans for the rally despite the setbacks and will issue a statement on its next course of action today. This is following a meeting last night to chart out its plans following City Hall’s refusal to allow the gathering to be held at Dataran Merdeka.
Bersih 2.0 steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah told the media yesterday that the City Hall did not have grounds to deny the event at Dataran Merdeka as they had allowed other nonrelated national events to be held there.
She listed several events which had been hosted by private companies and organisations, which included marathons scheduled in the coming months.
Maria said since their proposal to the police for traffic control had been denied, the committee will hold an emergency consultation to discuss the next course of action to be taken.
The sit-in protest at Dataran Merdeka by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, which is made up of 84 non-governmental organisations, calls for clean-up of the electoral roll, reform of the postal voting process, the use of indelible ink, free and fair access to the media, a minimum campaign period of 21 days, strengthening of public institutions, fight against corruption and dirty politics.
|< Prev||Next >|