KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition MPs’ attempt to march from Dataran Merdeka to Parliament was short-lived, as Federal Reserve Unit personnel armed with riot shields blocked them from going further.
The MPs had earlier gathered at Dataran Merdeka to begin their march to Parliament at about 10.20am to protest against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet, calling for their resignation.
Shouts of “Hidup Rakyat” and “Daulat Tuanku” rang from the group of MPs, who on a number of occasions had to speak to the police to allow the march to proceed.
But they did not manage to enter the Parliament grounds as FRU personnel blocked the entrance to Jalan Parlimen from Dataran Merdeka.
The MPs and their supporters eventually dispersed at about 10.40am, with some returning to Dataran Merdeka, as the FRU officers urged all those gathered to leave.
In addressing the crowd and calling on them to disperse, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the MPs had stated their position very clearly, adding that 107 MPs from every opposition party were present at the march.
“The (Dewan Rakyat) Speaker has gone back on his promise and has failed to conduct his duties. He is most dishonourable in this manner, to protect the prime minister who has lost his legitimacy.
“We are here as Malaysians who are loyal to the King, and who want to uphold the constitution and protect the people’s welfare. The people are suffering because of the government’s failure.
“The government has lost its support and failed to carry out its duties, but continues to struggle to hold on to power,” he said, before asking the crowd to disperse.
Most of the MPs and their supporters had cleared the area by 11am.
The others who took part in the march included former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Warisan president Shafie Apdal, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, MUDA’s Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu. FMT
MPs disperse after face-off with riot police
AFTER some two hours of speeches, a large gathering of opposition members of parliament in Kuala Lumpur was dispersed after the lawmarkers were barred by the FRU from marching to Parliament House.
“The (Dewan Rakyat) speaker has gone back on his promise and has failed to conduct his duties. He is most dishonourable in this manner, to protect the prime minister who has lost his legitimacy,” Anwar said in a speech at Dataran Merdeka.
The MPs had gathered on the field where the opposition leadership had delivered rousing speeches preparatory to a march to Parliament.
At the entrance of the road leading to Parliament, they were met by a wall of FRU officers.
The officers told Anwar the group should disperse and the opposition leader agreed to call off the march.
Earlier this morning, the opposition MPs were prevented from entering Parliament and threatened with arrest by police manning roadblocks.
Police started blocking several of them from going to the Parliament building at the road in front of the Bank Rakyat building.
The Federal Reserve Unit, usually used to handle riots, was deployed in front of the Bank Rakyat and put on standby for any trouble.
Among those told not to proceed were DAP Jelutong lawmaker R.S.N. Rayer and Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said Putrajaya was being ridiculous in barring lawmakers from going to Parliament House.
“MPs are not only allowed to enter Parliament House but are being stopped from going anywhere near the building. This is ridiculous. This should not be happening. Why are they so afraid?” he asked.
Today was to be the last day of a five-day special sitting that the Perikatan Nasional government agreed to hold despite the emergency, which ended yesterday.
The opposition MPs want the government to explain the revocation of emergency ordinances announced last week that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said did not have his assent, causing an uproar in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday. TMI
MKINI / FREE MALAYSIA TODAY / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT