The police has urged organisers of the People’s Uprising Rally this Saturday to hold the event at Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil which has a bigger capacity.
In a press release this evening, Kuala Lumpur police chief Mohmad Salleh said Stadium Merdeka, which organisers seek to use, will not cope with a one million turnout targeted by the organisers.
Mohmad said Stadium Merdeka has a capacity of 30,000 and noted that the venue management has set a condition that the organisers must not exceed the capacity.
“In view of the organiser’s goal of gathering one million participants, it is logical to hold the the rally at Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil.
“(The venue) is more suitable and comfortable because it has a bigger capacity and is accessible by public transport, including LRT, and fulfils security needs,” he said.
However, Mohmad did not mention the actual seating capacity of Bukit Jalil, which is 100,000.
Street protests banned
Mohmad said he was informed that the organisers had made an application to use Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil back in October last year and the application for Stadium Merdeka was made in two months later.
He said that both venues had approved the applications.
“The organisers are fully responsible with ensuring that their rally is held peacefully, which includes choosing a relevant and suitable venue,” he said.
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had yesterday suggested that Bukit Jalil stadium would be a better venue but this was rejected by the organisers.
Meanwhile, Mohmad also that the police will not allow any street protests and participation of children.
“What needs to be stressed is that the location for the rally is in the stadium and no other locations can be used as meeting points.
“I also like to clarify that any gathering Dataran Merdeka is strictly forbidden,” he said.
Mohmad’s comments comes in the wake of the organiser’s announcement that eight processions – one of which will begin in Dataran Merdeka – will be held prior to the rally.
Organisers told to keep promise
Mohmad said that the organisers had promised to do its part in maintaining the peace during it’s meeting with Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar on Tuesday.
“We hope that the organisers will be more responsible and keep to their promise,” he said.
He said that the police will act professionally without bias and fulfil its duties to ensure that no untoward incidents occur before, during and after the rally.
The police’s main responsibility in this matter is to ensure public peace and secruity, not only for rally participants but also the public.
“It is vital that this rally do not threaten public safety and affect businesses and daily affairs of the public,” he said.