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Friday, 13 October 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Pakatan defiant over rally venue

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have repeated their warning to organisers of tomorrow’s anti-kleptocracy rally not to hold their gathering at Padang Timur, but they have refused to back down.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said appropriate action would be taken against them if they refused to heed the police’s directive not to hold the rally at the Petaling Jaya venue.

“What that action is, I cannot say, because we want to see what the organisers are going to do,” he said at the National Innovation and Creative Economy (Nice) Expo 2017 yesterday.

Noor Rashid said police had evaluated Padang Timur and deemed it unsuitable as a venue due to its proximity to an entry-exit point to the Federal Highway.

He also issued a warning to Red Shirts leader Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos against interfering with the rally. “We will see what offence he commits.”

Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Mazlan Mansor said state police had received 17 reports and even a letter objecting to the use of the venue.

He said police were not disputing the fact that the organisers had issued a notice to the police under the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“However, we do not agree with their choice of venue and have advised them to change to another location such as the Kelana Jaya Stadium,” he said yesterday.

He added that the use of Padang Timur could cause several problems, including massive traffic congestion.

“As the public knows, the road near Padang Timur is a one-way loop that connects motorists from Federal Highway to PJ new and old town.

“Furthermore, members of the public using public transportation such as the LRT could be impacted as well,” he said.

Comm Mazlan said police would monitor the rally should the organisers decide to go on with it.

The organisers said they were determined to hold the rally at Padang Timur.

“We will proceed as we have complied with all the legal provisions,” said the organiser’s technical committee director Faiz Fadzil.

He said he did not see any reason why the gathering could create a dangerous situation for the public, unless there were provocations from unrelated groups.

“The event is planned with a carnival atmosphere and a peaceful gathering. We hope that the police will facilitate it.”

The “Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy” rally is being organised by Pakatan Harapan.

Jamal said he had planned a counter gathering.