Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Cops to call up those involved in Dataran Merdeka gathering

Police say they have received two reports so far on the event.

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Police will call the MPs and those involved in the gathering at Dataran Merdeka today to give their statements on the event.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Azmi Abu Kassim said those involved are being identified and the case is being investigated under Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Section 269 of the Penal Code and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

“So far, police have received two reports on the event,” he told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur police contingent headquarters today.

Earlier, police had stopped and dispersed the MPs who gathered at Dataran Merdeka and marched to Parliament in an attempt to call for the special sitting of the Dewan Rakyat to be resumed after it was adjourned on the advice of the health ministry following the spread of Covid-19.

Despite the peaceful dispersal of the gathering, the police had noticed many violations of SOPs, especially in terms of physical distancing, committed by the MPs and other participants.

Azmi said the police were alerted yesterday that a solidarity gathering with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim would be held at Parliament.

“We (the police) then checked with Parliament staff who said that there would be no Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

“So we decided to conduct roadblocks at all roads heading to Parliament for security purposes,” he said, adding that approximately 500 police personnel, including from the Federal Reserve Unit, were mobilised to control the situation during the march.

Yesterday, the health ministry recommended that all meeting sessions in Parliament be postponed for two weeks beginning July 29, following the detection of Covid-19 cases and concerns about the risk of infection.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a total of 104 people were screened from July 26 to 28 in Parliament through the RTK antigen (Ag) saliva self-screening test, and that at 12.30pm on July 29, the ministry was informed of two positive Covid-19 cases who had been present at the Parliament building.

Following the detection of the two positive cases, the ministry took immediate action by conducting similar tests on 1,183 individuals in Parliament, which found nine more Covid-19 positive cases and 48 close contacts.

In another development, Azmi said police had received 19 reports on the Lawan rally held in the city on Saturday, and that 11 participants and organisers of the rally had given their statements to the police.

He said the police were also in the midst of identifying and tracking down 47 other individuals believed to be involved in the rally based on the videos and pictures obtained.

An investigation paper has been opened regarding the rally, also involving Section 9 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Section 269 of the Penal Code and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), he added.

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