Anti-TPPA group insists on Dataran Merdeka rally venue

The anti-TPPA group is adamant  about holding their rally at Dataran Merdeka this Saturday. ― File pic
The anti-TPPA group is adamant about holding their rally at Dataran Merdeka this Saturday. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Organisers of the anti-Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) demonstration is adamant about holding their rally this Saturday at Dataran Merdeka, rejecting police advice to have it at Padang Merbok.

Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainol Samah said they shot down his suggestion during a meeting on Monday.

“They said holding in on the field (Padang Merbok) would not meet their goals, so I advised them to complete their application with the consent of Kuala Lumpur City Hall to use Dataran Merdeka,” he told reporters yesterday.

The “Perhimpunan Aman Bantah TPPA” organisers had submitted their application to the police last Tuesday but it was incomplete.

Stressing that police have not given their approval, Zainol said the organisers expected 20,000 people to turn up for the rally from 2.30pm to 5pm.

He reminded them to abide by the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and warned them to not bring children to the event.

“Do not bring children to such demonstrations as we have warned several times in the past.”

Zainol said the organisers planned to gather participants in several areas in the city before converging at the venue.

“They will gather in Maju Junction, Masjid Negara, Masjid Jamek as well as Jalan Raja Laut. But they said they will not march as they planned to utilise public transportation to get to Dataran Merdeka.”

Zainol said the force had outlined their plans for the demonstration.

“We were informed that the organisers have their own security team that will be managing the demonstrators.”

Organisers of the demonstration were spurred by a High Court rejection of a judicial review application against TPPA filed last year by Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia, Urusetia Menangani Gejala Sosial and Persatuan Teras Pendidikan dan Kebajikan Malaysia.

PAS and its splinter group, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) will also be participating in the demonstration.

Twelve countries, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, Vietnam and Malaysia, concluded the TPPA negotiations in Atlanta on October 5 last year.

Opponents of the agreement argued that although TPPA could increase Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it was at the people's expense as it does not take into account issues faced by the people.