KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — The “Himpunan Maruah Melayu” participants will skip Low Yat Plaza as a meeting point tomorrow, the event’s leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos has said amid heightened security preparations by the popular tech mall’s management.
According to Sin Chew Daily, Jamal said previous plans to gather at Low Yat Plaza and Lot 10 Plaza in the city’s shopping district Bukit Bintang have been cancelled to avoid affecting the daily business operations there.
The Coalition of Malay NGOs president said the red-clad rally-goers of the pro-Malay event will instead gather at 2pm at the Kompleks Kraftangan, Jalan Conlay in the city centre.
But Jalan Conlay has also been named as the venue of a rally by government agency Felda Land Development Authority (Felda), which had alleged planned to ferry in 20,000 settlers in 500 buses from various states for an 11am event called “Himpunan Warga Felda Sempena Hari Malaysia”.
Last Sunday, National Felda Settlers Children Association (ANAK) president Mazlan Aliman questioned if the Felda rally is linked to the “Red Shirts” rally that will be held on the same day and asked if public funds will be spent to bus in the settlers.
Today, Sin Chew Daily also reported Jamal as confirming that the four other meeting points for the Malay Dignity Rally remain unchanged, namely Titiwangsa Lake Gardens, Jalan Tun Razak, the National Mosque and the Federal Territories Mosque.
The red-shirt clad rally-goers will then converge at the final gathering point, Padang Merbok — which is also the venue where city hall had approved for use by Malay martial arts group Pesaka for another rally dubbed “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu”.
When asked about Petaling Street or the city’s traditional Chinatown area, Jamal told Sin Chew Daily that Himpunan Maruah Melayu participants will pass through it en route to Padang Merbok, but will not make it a meeting point.
“We are going to support Pesaka’s event at Padang Merbok, so there is no need to apply for any permit, did Bersih 4 apply for any permit? When they came from all meeting points to rally towards Dataran Merdeka, did they have permits?” the Sungai Besar Umno division chief was quoted saying.
Sin Chew Daily reported today Kuala Lumpur city mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz as saying that city hall will deploy 300 officers to help maintain order.
He stressed that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had only approved Pesaka’s application to use Padang Merbok, and had not granted approval for the Himpunan Maruah Melayu rally organised by Jamal’s group to gather at the five meeting points.
“They say they want Bukit Bintang, Petaling Street and National Mosque and others as meeting points, but we have not received any applications and we will not approve,” he said.
But the mayor said it is beyond DBKL’s jurisdiction to prevent rally-goers from marching from other meeting points to Padang Merbok, with those who violate the law by rallying at other places to be dealt with the police or other enforcement agencies.
Even as tomorrow’s rally draws near, contradictory messages have been given by Jamal and Pesaka president Tan Sri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam on their two distinctly named rallies with different rally causes..
Both Mohd Ali and Jamal have insisted that their rallies will be carried out peacefully.
Yesterday, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the issue of imposing a ban on red shirts as was done for Bersih 4 rally’s yellow shirt does not arise, also reportedly noting that tomorrow’s rally is deemed legal as DBKL has approved the Padang Merbok rally venue.