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Clash looms over Malaysian opposition rally

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 16:04

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia`s opposition appeared headed for a clash with the authorities with their leader Anwar Ibrahim deciding to go ahead with a planned rally today to protest against poll results, despite a police warning that the gathering will be deemed illegal.

Addressing a press conference, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar warned that participants at the rally will be arrested.
"The organiser must comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. Marching without permit aimed at arousing anger is wrong according to the law," Omar said according to state news agency Bernama.

The opposition on its part argues it had complied with provisions of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 as it has informed the police about the proposed rally to be held at the Kelana Jaya stadium at 8.30 pm.

"To heed the call by (Inspector-General of Police) Ismail Omar, PKR through Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the Seri Setia assembly person, has officially informed the relevant police station," said PRK`s director of strategy Rafizi Ramli in a statement today.

"It complies with the Peaceful Assembly Act - a permit is not needed for a rally, only the need to inform the police," he added.
Urging the people to attend tonight`s rally, the opposition has appealed to Malaysians to wear black to the assembly to express their objection to alleged electoral fraud in Sunday`s 13th general election, online news portal Malaysiakini said.

The opposition statement also said a police report would be lodged later today about "malicious" text messages being widely circulated asking the people, especially non-Malays, not to attend the rally `as it will become an excuse for racial riots.`

Anwar has disputed the results of the election in which Prime Minister Najib Razak-led Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition retained its 56-year grip on power, winning 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats.

He has accused the Election Commission of "being complicit in the worst electoral fraud in our nation`s history."

However, Najib`s office in a statement has dismissed opposition`s claims of electoral fraud as "unsubstantiated."


First Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 16:04
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