KAMPAR, March 17 — Padang Rengas Umno division has been instructed to apply for a police permit to hold the debate between former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz scheduled for next week.
Mohamed Nazri who is Member of Parliament for Padang Rengas said he had ordered the division’s secretary to seek the permission from the authorities.
He added that the debate had nothing to do with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 as its objective was to debate.
“This programme has nothing to do with the Peaceful Assembly Act as we are not holding a demonstration.
“I was the one who tabled the act, I know...what we are organising is a debate, not a demonstration. If it is a demonstration, then it would fall under the Peaceful Assembly Act,” he told reporters after a working visit as Tourism and Culture Minister to the “Battle of Kampar” World War II site here today.
Acting State Police Chief Datuk Hasnan Hassan said this morning that so far, nobody had applied for a permit to organise a gathering which was reported to be held at 3pm at the Sultan Azlan Shah Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) in Kuala Kangsar on March 25.
“If it is held without police permit, it will be an offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012,” he said in a statement here today, adding that schools were prohibited areas under the First Schedule Section 3 of the Act.
As such, he said, police could take action against anyone attending the event for gathering in a prohibited place and without permission under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Nazri who is also Head of the Padang Rengas Umno Division urged Barisan Nasional supporters not to attend the debate to avoid any unpleasant incidences.
“My name is Nazri, I have never run away, and debating is not a new thing to me, since 2001 I have debated with many people, including Lim Kit Siang and the late Karpal Singh.
Mohamed Nazri said he always respected Dr Mahathir as a former leader, but as part of the government, he had to refute the allegations hurled at the government. — Bernama