KUALA LUMPUR – The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has warned organisers of a rally in support of a Bill to enhance the Shariah courts next month against holding the event at the historic Dataran Merdeka.

City Mayor Datuk Seri Mhd Amin Abd Aziz said today the iconic square is off limits to the Himpunan 355 rally by Islamist party PAS in support of its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s Bill.

“Our policy [is] no,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

Mhd Amin however said PAS would be able to go ahead with the rally by changing the venue to Stadium Titiwangsa, also in Kuala Lumpur.

“Only in Stadium Titiwangsa. [It’s] for every body,” he added.

PAS announced today a mega rally on February 18, expected to last between 3 pm and 11 pm.

The rally will be in support of Act 355, or the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, which Hadi’s Bill seeks to amend.

Deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said PAS has also applied for permit from the police to allow them to gather at Dataran Merdeka but already have an alternative location in mind if the application is not allowed.

Despite that, Kuala Lumpur police chief Commissioner Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh denied today that such an application has been made.

“They just made the announcement today, don’t think the application’s been made.

“Let’s wait for the application first. I don’t want to be preemptive,” he told Malay Mail Online.

In November last year, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang read his motion for the amended version of his private member’s Bill to amend Act 355 in a bid to expand the punitive powers of the Shariah courts, but he deferred it to the next time Parliament convenes in 2017.

– Malay Mail