Malaysia

DBKL ready to act if Seksualiti Merdeka goes ahead, says Raja Nong Chik

November 06, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will take action against anyone who holds events related to Seksualiti Merdeka 2011 in the capital, Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said today.

Bernama Online was told by the minister of Federal Territories and urban well-being that DBKL is currently monitoring the situation in a bid to scupper any attempts at reviving or promoting the “immoral” event.

He said the festival does not have a permit and as a result, DBKL had the authority to act in the form of raids if any events take place at a business premises or by holding the organisers accountable should they occur in a public setting.

The reason for DBKL’s proactive role now is publicity for the festival had brought it to the public’s attention, unlike in previous years where there was none, and had led to a number of complaints being lodged with city hall, he added.

Seksualiti Merdeka, a movement championing freedom for sexual orientation and gender identity, has been holding the festival annually since 2008 but sparked a heated debate after the government banned this year’s celebration.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police were not against freedom of expression or human rights but had to step in because the organisers did not have a permit to hold the festival in public.

He also said the police had banned the event to safeguard public order after receiving several reports against Seksualiti Merdeka.

Khalid added that the police were investigating the matter under Section 298A of the Penal Code and Section 27A(1)(c) of the Police Act and had linked Bersih 2.0’s Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan to the movement.

Seksualiti Merdeka’s organisers called off all public events yesterday in the interest of participants’ safety as they seek a meeting to clarify the festival’s objectives to the Inspector-General of Police.