Malaysia

Cops say no speeches or ‘noise’ at next Monday’s public rally

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The police tonight issued 10 conditions, barring participants at next Monday’s public rally in support of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from “making noise” and disallowing any speeches from being made.

The conditions were posted on the police’s Facebook page this evening, listing down the rules for the rally which also bar participants from carrying any banners to support Anwar at the gathering which is being held as the High Court here delivers its verdict in the highly-charged Sodomy II trial.

PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali issued a guarantee this evening that the mass rally in front of the KL High Court will be peaceful. — Picture by Choo Choy MayPKR Deputy President Azmin Ali issued a guarantee this evening that the mass rally in front of the KL High Court will be peaceful. — Picture by Choo Choy MayThe police had earlier today met a PKR delegation before deciding to allow the rally to go ahead.

PKR leaders said no conditions had been set during the meeting.

“The police have granted us permission to have our assembly at the Jalan Duta parking lot, right in front of the court entrance,” PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mat Akin told The Malaysian Insider this morning after leaving the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali had announced on Tuesday that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will be amassing a rally of over 100,000 people in a show of support for Anwar next Monday when the High Court delivers its decision on his Sodomy II trial.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh confirmed the matter during a brief, joint press conference with PKR after their meeting.

No conditions were mentioned at the time.

But Sentul police issued the conditions this evening after “considering safety and public order factors.”

Among the other conditions mentioned in the Facebook posting are that the public must disperse one hour after the verdict; and that the organisers are only allowed to use two loudhailers for the purposes of crowd control.

Earlier this evening, PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali issued a guarantee that the mass rally in front of the KL High Court will be peaceful.

Anwar, 64, is charged with sodomising former male aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at a condominium in upscale Damansara Heights here in June 2008, a few months before returning from a decade in the political wilderness and winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

This represents the second time he has been prosecuted for sodomy.

If found guilty, he could spend up to 20 years behind bars but will escape the caning penalty as he is over 60. It would effectively spell the end of his political career and his chance to be prime minister.

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