The police’s move to set up some 88 roadblocks to control vehicle movement into the city centre in order to stop an already cancelled protest led to heavy traffic congestion in Kuala Lumpur.
This was further aggravated by the suspension of rail services including LRT, MRT and monorail into the city centre for “public safety” reasons.
GPS application Waze showed several roads leading to Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, the venue of the gathering had the protest proceeded, saw a long traffic crawl.
Some road users have also taken to Twitter to complain that they were delayed by more than an hour.
Some were also late for their Covid-19 vaccination appointment.
One personnel working at a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Kuala Lumpur said several individuals she called informed that they had been delayed by the jam.
“Every vaccine (appointment) I called today to confirm their arrival be like, ‘miss KL semua jam giler’, ‘miss I sangkut kat block’, ‘miss byk jalan yg tutup’ (Miss, there’s crazy jam everywhere in KL’, ‘miss, I’m stuck at a roadblock’, ‘miss, many roads are closed),” she said on Twitter.
Another Twitter user said he had been circling in Kuala Lumpur for two hours and had yet to arrive at the vaccination centre.
“Which route do I use for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre vaccination centre? I’ve been circling in Kuala Lumpur for two hours and have yet to arrive,” said Twitter user @hamidizuhdi.
“It took me three hours to reach home. My house is in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. Just adjacent to Dataran Merdeka,” said another Twitter user who uses the handle @luqqmandowski.
Sekretariat Solidariti Rakyat (SSR), the organiser of the #Lawan protest, had said they were calling off the protest after Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin resigned as the prime minister.
They had accused his government of failing to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and economy.
The last protest organised by SSR in Kuala Lumpur took place on July 31 and attracted some 400 people, according to police estimates.
Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob is set to be sworn in as the new prime minister today, largely maintaining the composition of Muhyiddin's coalition.
SSR activists had criticised the police for overreacting even though the protest had been cancelled.
The activists said cops had visited some of them last night to deliver a court order to prevent them from organising the protest even though they have already informed police that it has been cancelled.