Posted by SM Maulana
Crowds gathering with momentum at the Kelana Jaya stadium
KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 – People, dressed mainly in red, have started streaming into the Kelana Jaya stadium this morning for a planned pro-Anwar and anti-fuel price hike rally despite a tough warning from Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar that police will not compromise on public safety and order.
“We won’t compromise if public safety and order is threatened. So don’t break the law,” Syed Hamid was quoted as saying by Mingguan Malaysia in the Sunday paper’s edition.
He said the authorities wanted to prevent possible chaos and trouble in the rally starting at 10am and ending at 12 midnight. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is facing fresh sodomy accusations, is expected to launch a nation-wide roadshow to clear his name with a speech after 9pm at the rally.
The rally was planned in early June after the government raised pump prices for petrol and diesel but has suffered a change of venue, dates and causes over the weeks culminating with Anwar’s new sexual misconduct claims headlining the event. A roster of top opposition leaders and performers are expected at the rally but a planned band performance was nixed by Anwar’s ally Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).
There is a large police operations centre at the corner of the stadium car park but police were largely absent from the stadium. People have started to park their cars near roads leading to the stadium and traffic is building up, reporters at the stadium told The Malaysian Insider.
Syed Hamid charged the rally had ulterior motives and went beyond protesting the fuel price rises. “The police is there to protect the interests of the people and I hope our citizens can read the intentions and motives of those who clearly believe the ends justify the means,” he told the newspaper in an exclusive interview.