Cops say no to Dataran Merdeka for anti-GST rally this Saturday

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http://hakam.org.my/wp/2016/03/31/cops-say-no-to-dataran-merdeka-for-anti-gst-rally-this-saturday/
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Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows hundreds of people gathering for the anti-GST rally Himpunan Derita Rakyat (Hindar) at Padang Merbok, April 11, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

File picture shows hundreds of people gathering for the anti-GST rally Himpunan Derita Rakyat (Hindar) at Padang Merbok, April 11, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — The police today told organisers of this Saturday’s protest against the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to steer clear of Dataran Merdeka, warning that those who insist on using the venue would face action.

Dang Wangi district police chief Zainol Samah said the police were told yesterday that City Hall already has plans to use the historic square for another event, which makes the venue off-limits to protesters.

“On March 30, the police was informed by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall that there will be preparations at Dataran Merdeka for the ‘Car Free Morning Program’, so the place cannot be used,” he said.

“As such, we will not hesitate to take stern action if the rally is held there as it is unlawful under Section 11 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. However, the organisers can hold their rallies at other places such as Padang Merbok.”

He also said that the police received the first notice from the organisers on March 22 but was unable to process it as it was incomplete and had to ask for a completed one.

But until today, the police have yet to receive the completed notice, Zainol added.

Section 11 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 requires the organiser to receive consent from owner of the assembly place before using it.

The rally is organised by Pakatan Harapan to mark the one-year anniversary of the GST.

The opposition pact has repeatedly claimed that the consumption tax significantly reduces the purchasing power of most Malaysians, especially the bottom 40 per cent of wage earners.

Rally-goers are expected to gather at Sogo shopping mall at 2pm before marching to Dataran Merdeka.