Malaysia

Police choke off KL ahead of rally

July 09, 2011

The normally busy Jalan Kinabalu flyover is seen completely deserted, July 9, 2011. — TMIpic The normally busy Jalan Kinabalu flyover is seen completely deserted, July 9, 2011. — TMIpic KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The police blockade of Kuala Lumpur transformed the usually thronging metropolis into a ghost town early this morning, after checkpoints along major transport arteries choked off access ahead of a mass rally scheduled for the afternoon.

Police personnel flooded into the city since late last night, and erected barriers and checkpoints to control movement into and out of KL.

Key entry points have effectively been closed, with traffic rerouted to go around the city.

Jalan Syed Putra, Jalan Istana, Jalan Bukit Petaling, Jalan Bellamy, and the streets in the vicinity of Istana Negara have also been completely sealed to all traffic. Movement along other major roads in the city are now being screened by police road blocks.

At least one razor-wire barricade was seen along roads leading to Stadium Merdeka.

Police have also shut down the Pudu Raya bus terminal, and rerouted buses to the Integrated South-Bandar Tasik Selatan Terminal and Hentian Duta, depending on their point of origin.

Rail transport systems, however, remain uninterrupted. With the road system throttled, commuters have swarmed towards the train systems, with heavy crowds reported at major stations.

Police have also deployed numerous personnel at stops along the various transit lines.

Authorities continue to warn the public to avoid the city, which has been in lockdown since midnight as authorities attempt to circumvent the mass rally by electoral reforms movement Bersih 2.0 planned for this afternoon.