Anti- and pro-ISA groups warned over planned gatherings

(The Star) – Police have issued a stern warning to two parties planning to organise demonstrations on Aug 1, one against and the other to support the Internal Security Act (ISA).

City police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman said police have received information that anti-ISA movement, Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), is planning to have 100,000 people march to the Istana Negara.

They intend to hand over a memorandum urging the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong dissolve the Act.

“Another group who are pro-ISA, comprising Majlis Pemuafakatan Ummah (Pewaris), Persatuan Pribumi Perkasa (Perkasa) as well as several NGOs (non-governmental organisations) are planning to have a gathering in several locations in Kuala Lumpur on the same day,” he said.

DCP Sabtu said the authorities were worried the tense situation created by two parties with oppising ideologies may disrupt the public peace and safety.

“We will set up police roadblocks on all roads leading to the city and within the city for two days before the event. Any buses suspected of ferrying people to the illegal gathering would be stopped and detained under Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a preventive measure.

“A large number of police personnel would also be stationed at several key areas in and around the city to monitor locations where people may start gathering,” he said.

He said that the police have yet to receive any applications for permits to hold either gathering, adding that letters from organisers to inform them of the event were not sufficient.

“It is no use sending a letter informing us of their intent to organise the gathering, the proper procedure is for them to fill out a permit application form,” he said, adding the organisers have said they would begin gathering at around 2pm.

DCP Sabtu said he has already met with the organisers of the pro-ISA movement and told them to abandon their plans to take part in the event, adding he would be meeting the organisers from GMI on Wednesday to dissuade them.

DCP Sabtu said police have deemed the gathering and demonstration plans by both parties as illegal and an offence under Section 27(5) of the Police Act 1967. Those taking part and attending the events can be charged under Section 27(5) of the Police Act and Section 141 of the Penal Code.

Those found guilty under Section 27(5) of the Police Act 1967 are liable to a fine no less than RM2,000 and no more than RM10,000 as well as be jailed for no more than one year.

Those found guilty under Section 141 of the Penal Code are liable to a jail term of not longer than six months or a fine or both.