Police fear incitement, provocation in planned ISA marches

(Bernama) – The police claim to have detected “elements of incitement and provocation” between the two groups with different agendas and planning to organise marches over the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Saturday.

One group is the Gabungan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), which is a coalition of non-governmental organisations pressing for the ISA to be abolished, while the other comprises the Majlis Permuafakatan Ummah (Perwaris), Perkasa and some like-minded organisations which are against the abolition of the Act.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said if the planned gatherings and marches were allowed to go ahead, police were concerned they might cause tension among the participants and uneasiness to the public.

“Although the organisers have said the gatherings and marches would be peaceful, they may still threaten public order,” he said in a statement here today.

He was responding to the GMI’s call for the public to take part in the planned large gathering dubbed the 100,000 People’s Gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

The group plans to gather at various locations including Masjid Jamek, in front of the Sogo shopping complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and the National Mosque before marching to Istana Negara to press for the ISA to be abolished.

The other group, led by Perwaris and Perkasa, also plans to gather at Padang Merbok, Pasar Seni (Central Market) and the National Mosque also on the same day in support of the ISA.

Ismail said police had not received any application from the two groups to hold the mass gatherings and marches, and they would be breaking the law if they held them without a police permit.

He advised the organisers to abort their plans and the public not to take part in such gatherings or processions.

“These will have a negative impact on other members of the public, tourists and the business community, besides causing traffic congestion,” he said.