Blame City Hall for your RM500,000 loss, Bersih 2.0 tells affected traders

An aerial view of the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016, as seen from Masjid Jamek LRT station. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
An aerial view of the Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2016, as seen from Masjid Jamek LRT station. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 has asked traders and hawkers claiming to be affected by its mega rally yesterday to direct their complaint at the Kuala Lumpur CIty Hall (DBKL) that directed them to close their shops.

Citing anecdotes from the Bersih 5 rally, the group said yesterday was a good day for business with thousands of rally goers also visiting shops and restaurants, in addition to utilising the public transport.

“They were directed to close by City Hall, so I would say the City Hall is responsible for the loss,” steering committee member Thomas Fann told a press conference here.

The Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman Traders and Hawkers Association was reported alleging that the Bersih 5 rally cost its members a cumulative RM500,000 in business yesterday.

In a report by BH Ahad today, the group said the directive from the DBKL to shutter operations for the duration of the rally meant traders lost an average of RM800 each.

“Smart businessmen should know what advices to take. It is silly if you follow silly advice, then claim and complaint to others” Fann said.

The group was one of three that had sought an injunction against the Bersih 5 rally a day before yesterday's event.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday rejected the application on the grounds of the late filing as well as failure by the three groups to demonstrate that previous rallies had caused damage to their shops and stalls.

A separate report by the Sunday Star today included remarks by traders in Petaling Street who estimated that patronage rose by as much as 50 per cent yesterday despite the rally.

Most traders in the area had closed for the day following advice from the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association, but those that remained opened reported increased business and no trouble.

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