Despite police warning, Saturday’s #TangkapNajib protest to proceed

The organisers of a street demonstration called #TangkapNajib (#ArrestNajib) are adamant in their decision to proceed with the protest this Saturday, despite warnings by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) urging them to stand down. 

Student activist leader Adam Adli Abdul Halim, acting as spokesperson for the organising committee calling itself “Demi Malaysia” (“For Malaysia”) said the warning issued by Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar was merely a tactic to discourage any show of dissent towards Prime Minister Najib Razak. 

“Until today, the prime minister of Malaysia has failed to answer how 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) can pay up their billions of ringgit in debts,” he said at a press conference in KL today. 

“Realising the need to push, to save the country and free the people from continued economic, political and social uncertainty, the youths are grouping together to demand that Najib resign as prime minister immediately. Demi Malaysia is calling on all youngsters and the people of Malaysia to attend a peaceful gathering that will be held on August 1 in front of Sogo shopping complex at 2pm,” Adam said, as quoted by The Malaysian Insider‘s Hasbullah Awang Chik.

He said the organisers are expecting a turnout of at least 500 people, and urged those who wished to participate to dress in white to show their solidarity. 

Adam asserted that similar demonstrations had taken place in KL before, and were carried out in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner. 

“This is a right that is guaranteed under the constitution. There is no need for us to ask for a permit and all.

“(The police warning) is only a tactic by the authorities to stop us from carrying out the protest. There is nothing here that is against the law.

“Demonstrations are not foreign in Kuala Lumpur. From small ones to larger gatherings… we have seen them. We know there nothing is bad about it, the harmony and security are not disrupted.”

He also dismissed Khalid’s warning, issued yesterday, as being outdated, and insisted that the demonstration’s organisers were prepared to cooperate with the police if needed. 

“We understand the protest is a democratic process, especially for the people who don’t have the opportunity to speak in Parliament.

“This is a platform for the normal citizen to speak.”

Adam also acknowledged the larger-scale #BERSIH4 rally organised by electoral reform movement Bersih 2.0 on August 29 and 30, and said #TangkapNajib on August 1 would serve as a catalyst to stoke the people’s fervour. 

Yesterday, Bernama reported Khalid as saying the organisers of #TangkapNajib needed to deny that they planned to topple the Federal Government by inciting the people to march in the streets.

“We have laws and cannot do anything we like to topple the government. There is a constitutional way to change the government… this is my last warning,” he said.

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