Kuala Lumpur City Hall shoots down PAS proposal for mammoth rally at Dataran Merdeka

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall will remain off-limits to Malaysian political party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), who were planning to hold a mammoth rally there.
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall will remain off-limits to Malaysian political party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), who were planning to hold a mammoth rally there.PHOTO: THE STAR

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will not be able to use Dataran Merdeka for a mammoth rally in support of amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, says Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said the historic square would remain off limits to rally organisers as has been the case in the past.

"Policy is the same. No Dataran (Merdeka)," he said in a text message.

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man announced on Saturday (Jan 7) that a mega rally targeting 300,000 participants would be held on Feb 18 to encourage support for the Syariah Court amendments, better known as RUU355.

Tuan Ibrahim said the party had applied for a permit to hold the purple-themed rally, dubbed Himpunan 355, at Dataran Merdeka, but had an alternative location in mind if it was denied.

In an immediate response, Datuk Seri Mohd Amin said that the Islamist party and its supporters had the green light to gather in Stadium Titiwangsa instead.

He also said "no" to the possibility of rally-goers gathering in Padang Merbok.

"The (previous) Rohingya rally in Stadium Titiwangsa has proven to be good. So that's the place," he said in reference to the Dec 4 rally held in solidarity with Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims.

PAS is planning the large-scale rally to gather support for the Private Member's Bill brought by its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, which seeks to mete out harsher punishments for Syariah offences.

Datuk Seri Hadi, who is Marang MP, read out an amended version of his Bill in Parliament back in November, but has deferred its tabling and debate to the next sitting expected in March this year.