KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Street demonstrations will not be allowed to be held in southern state of Johor as it will allegedly disrupt public order, the state’s ruler has decreed today.
Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar was quoted by The Star Online saying that such rallies would divide the public, and those who were unhappy with the government should voice out their dissatisfaction through the right channel instead.
“It is irresponsible for people to gather in public places and insult leaders and certain individuals, and I would like to stress that I would not allow any kind of demonstration to take place in Johor,” he decreed at the Himpunan Bangsa Johor in Pasir Gudang.
He also urged the people of Johor and various non-governmental organisations against joining street demonstrations.
“Go and meet your respective elected representatives, and if they fail to voice your grievances, then by all means choose a new leader who is capable to do the job,” he said.
The Sultan was also quoted by state news agency Bernama as expressing regret at the action of a former leader that was left unnamed, claiming he had amended the Constitution for his own interest.
Accusing the politician of forgetting his roots, Sultan Ibrahim said the man became “greedy” after obtaining power, and took away the purported rights of his benefactors.
In 1994, then-prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration had amended the Federal Constitution to strip some of the powers of the monarchy, including to return a Bill to Parliament for reconsideration.
The amendment also effectively removed legal immunity for the royals.
On November 19, Bersih 2.0 will hold the fifth edition of its street protest, urging for free and fair elections, a clean government and a stronger democracy.
However, the mega rally will only be held in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had warned Bersih 2.0 and the Red Shirts movement that police will act against them if they insisted on organising rallies at Dataran Merdeka despite not receiving approval from the venue owner, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
Yesterday, Zahid announced the government’s decision to prohibit both groups from gathering despite both serving a 10-day notice with the police in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA).
He said the venue suggested by Bersih 2.0 was on the prohibited list of venues under the PAA.