A small protest outside the Seputeh community centre resulted in a minor argument between the protesters and those in the community centre today.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and a small group of residents were holding banners, signs during a press conference today across the street from the community centre.
They were protesting the sale of the land on which the community centre is built, for the development of affordable housing.
The protest was held across the street, opposite the entrance to the smaller building of the community centre, next to the community centre hall where the wedding was taking place.
The protest drew the ire of some within the building.
A woman who claimed it was her child’s wedding said she was uncomfortable with the protest across the street and that it was scaring the wedding guests.
“We are uncomfortable and we feel like this (protest) is disrupting our ceremony. So we asked them to leave just now,” she said, in a video sent by Seputeh Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Rafii to Malaysiakini.
Several people, including a woman in an oversized beanie cap and a man in a blue polo shirt came out to confront the protesters.
“How would you feel if someone came to protest outside your house?” the man asked the protesters.
“Is this your house? Is this Umno’s house?” one of the protesters, a man wearing a red DAP shirt, asked.
“Yes, that’s right,” the man in blue said.
Claims wedding disrupted
Meanwhile, at the same time, the woman with the beanie cap was shouting at another protester.
“Please show us some respect,” the woman shouted several times, saying that the protest was disrupting the wedding.
Later, Kok told Malaysiakini that her press conference was not disrupting the wedding at all.
“We were not disrupting, we were on the opposite side of the road,” she said.
She also claimed that Seputeh Umno had been using that community centre for years.
That community centre has been used as a venue for many Umno events, according to the Facebook page, such as launch of the Umno Youth and Puteri Umno of the Seputeh division 2014 conference and a Federal Territories Umno Youth higher education bureau meeting.
There have also been several press conferences held by Umno division leaders at that location.
When contacted, Razlan insisted the building was a community centre meant for public use.
“We rent it out sometimes (for events and press conferences).
“That hall belongs to the community centre. Kok attended during a wedding, (which is) disrespectful to the ceremony,” he told Malaysiakini.
Meant for public facilities
Before the protest was derailed by the argument, Kok had explained that they were against Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) selling that plot of land to a private developer to build Federal Territories Affordable Housing (Rumawip).
She said that land was meant for public facilities under the Kuala Lumpur city development control plan.
“So how can a public facility building be turned into a high-rise building like that?
“We do not care what sort of housing it is. Maybe it is Rumawip but it is unjustifiable.
“The resident leaders have said this is not the only (development here). There are many other plots used by DBKL for all sorts of development.
“So in the end, they do not have green lung or green space here,” she said.
She has objected to this development since she found out about it since August 2016, writing in to the Federal Territories deputy minister J Loga Bala Mohan about this matter, she said.
She sent another letter voicing their concerns about this to him again in February and March this year, she said.
“Loga also has taken it seriously and sent it to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, telling him about our objection,” she said.
The hearing on their objection will be conducted on March 27, she added.
Report lodged against protestors
A wedding guest later lodged a police report against Kok and the protesters.
In a copy of the police report sighted by Malaysiakini, Shahril Kamalludin said he along with several other guests had requested Kok and the protesters to leave as a show of respect to the wedding.
However the protestors allegedly refused, which led to an argument, according to the complaint.
“I am lodging this report to ask the police to investigate Kok and her supporters who have disrupted the wedding ceremony with their demonstration without any notice from the authorities,” the report read.