KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Protesters of the #TangkapAzamBaki rally were forced to turn back by the authorities after failing to enter the city centre.
The protest is mainly to call for Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki to step down following his stock trading scandal that has recently emerged.
According to the protest organisers it was impossible to move forward with their plan of holding a demonstration in the city centre as all access was blocked by the police prior to the gathering taking place.
“If the roads were not blocked to this extent, we may have still moved further.
“But the authorities had already blocked all access that we could think of, there is no way out from this area, so there is no point going forward,” said one of the organisers who requested anonymity.
Multiple roadblocks have been put in place to prevent people from entering Dataran Merdeka, Jalan Syed Putra and Jalan Putra.
LRT, MRT and monorail stations in the city centre have also been closed off.
The protest organisers had initially managed to negotiate for a short walk from the Bangsar LRT up until the intersection to Brickfields.
One of the organisers, Tarmizi Anuar of the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) said that they had tried try to negotiate for a further distance but police did not allow them to do so.
Instead protestors resorted to a 15 minute sit down on Jalan Bangsar right before Brickfields intersection.
The gathering came to a close with a gimmick whereby protest organisers had a member clad in a uniform similar to how Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissioner (MACC) Tan Sri Azam Baki would usually wear during official business — in chains and handcuffs — and was “boo-ed” by the public.
Although the police had given orders for the protesters to clear Jalan Bangsar by 12.15 pm, the crowd had finally dispersed at about 1pm with heavy police presence.
Expressing discontent, a spectator in the vicinity of the protest said the gathering was something that needed to be done.
“This is good, it shows that people are angry. If he (Azam) did do something against the law, he should be investigated.
“Just like the other politicians who have many ongoing court cases (like Datuk Seri Najib Razak), we must not let these people go,” the spectator said, requesting anonymity.