PKR presses ahead with Anwar rally on Saturday, insists legal

Fahmi Fadzil

(Malay Mail Online) – PKR is proceeding with the #KitaLawan rally to support jailed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim this Saturday, insisting the protest was legal despite the arrest of activists and party leaders at previous events.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference at the party’s headquarters here, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil (pic) said the rally complied with the stipulations of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.

“We’ve sent in the notice to the police. But the cops have not responded,” Fahmi said.

The PAA removed the requirement for rally organisers to obtain police permits, replacing it with obligation to provide authorities with adequate notice of such assemblies.

When asked why it was necessary to rally on the streets instead of a stadium venue, PKR Youth Chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said “visibility” was necessary to achieve the event’s goal.

“If it’s just somewhere isolated from the public, it doesn’t make sense,” said the PKR leader who was previously arrested for speaking at one such rally.

According to PKR Youth strategy director Akmal Nasir, the rally scheduled for 3pm Saturday in Kuala Lumpur will have three assembly points: Pasar Seni, Masjid Jamek, and PAS headquarters at Jalan Raja Laut. Groups will then proceed to gather at the Sogo shopping complex at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

#KitaLawan (we fight) is a group formed in solidarity with jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Despite police warnings against doing so, #KitaLawan held a rally in front of Sogo last Friday, before marching to KLCC where they brought traffic to a standstill at the Jalan Ampang and Jalan Sultan Ismail intersection.

On February 21, police arrested activists Adam Adli Abdul Halim and Fariz Musa for participating in another such rally, while Nik Nazmi was detained the next day. All were subsequently released.

On February 10, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, and sentenced the Permatang Pauh lawmaker to five years’ jail.