KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 ― The police have disallowed a debate between federal minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, claiming the application for a permit by the organisers was done at the last minute.
Kuala Kangsar police district chief ACP Ahmad Termizi Abd Haq said the application should have been made 10 days before the event on March 25, according to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA).
“After studying and evaluating the reasons why the gathering is being held and taking into consideration the safety factors, public order, defending the rights and freedom of the public, Kuala Kangsar district police chief has rejected the application,” Perak police chief Datuk Hasnan Hassan said in a statement today.
The police claimed the Third Schedule of the PAA states that a gathering and dialogue such as this is not allowed.
However, the Third Schedule only lists down assemblies where notification is not required, not a list of assemblies which are not allowed.
The assemblies listed in the Third Schedule include religious assemblies, funeral processions, wedding receptions, open houses, family gatherings, family day, and general meetings.
The police also pointed out that the location of the debate, which is at the Maktab Rendah Sains MARA Kuala Kangsar was not a permitted venue for such a gathering.
He added a written explanation on the cancellation will be given today to the organisers, the Karangkraf Media group.
The police said another reason for its decision was the eight police reports that have been lodged against it.
Nazri, the Malaysian tourism and culture minister agreed to debate Dr Mahathir in his home constituency of Padang Rengas when the senior leader visits the area as part of his nationwide campaign for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.