Cops to start anti-ICERD rally watch midnight Friday

G. Prakash
City police chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim speaks during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur December 6, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — All movement into and out of the city will be under police monitoring from midnight tomorrow, ahead of the Saturday mass rally planned by Umno and PAS to protest the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) at Jalan Raja.

City police chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said six roads connected to Jalan Raja and surrounding the historic square will also be closed from 6am Saturday to facilitate the public demonstration.

“Dang Wangi police headquarters approved the gathering on December 4 after Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan gave the green light for a gathering to oppose the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to be held in the city this weekend,” he said during a news conference today.

Mazlan declined to disclose the number of police personnel that will be deployed to keep public order on that day.

Instead, he gave an assurance that there will be enough police to ensure the rally proceeds smoothly.

He confirmed the anti-riot Federal Reserve Unit will also be deployed when asked.

“Of course, but it will just to be on standby,” he said.

The senior policeman urged anti-ICERD organisers and participants to follow the regulations laid down in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Mazlan also advised the public to take note of the road closures on Saturday and avoid them if possible.

He said that a silat group is also holding its own gathering in the city on the same day to protest against ICERD and that it will be sending a memorandum to Istana Negara.

Mazlan said the silat group will gather at the Federal Territory Mosque and walk to the palace’s third gate.

“We will also facilitate this group. But from what we know, this will be a small gathering,” he said.

The KL police chief urged participants of both rallies to use public transport on Saturday instead of driving into the city and parking on road shoulders.

He also advised rally-goers not to bring their children along, saying the inclusion of minors is an offence under the law.

“We have been told that this will be a peaceful gathering, so I urge them not to provoke or create tension on the day.

“Authorities will not hesitate to take action if we see any speeches that are seditious,” he added.

He said the police have been informed that the rally at Jalan Raja will only be from 2pm to 6pm.

“If they don’t disperse by 6pm, we will call up the organisers to speak to them,” he added.

Mazlan said the police only want to facilitate the rallies in the city and ensure everyone’s safe.

Apart from Umno and PAS, Malay rights group Perkasa has said it will take part in the rally.

Organisers are now targeting a gathering of 500,000 people to express their thanks to the Pakatan Harapan government for not ratifying ICERD.

On the same day, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is slated to attend another gathering organised by the Human Rights Commission in conjunction with International Human Rights Day that falls on December 10.

The gathering under the theme “Stand Up 4 Human Rights” is scheduled from 9am to 3pm at Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Dr Mahathir is also scheduled to speak there, along with Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Ismail Bakar.

*A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected. 

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