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Home>>World >> Asia/Oceania
09:51, August 02, 2009

Massive demonstration, serious jam in Malaysia capital

Massive demonstration against the Internal Security Act (ISA) took place here on Saturday, resulting in terrible jams heading towards the city.

More than 30,000 people took part in the procession starting at various locations in the city towards the National Palace to hand over a memorandum to the King on the abolishment of the ISA.

In order to maintain social security, police have set up road blocks as early as Thursday to check for potential participants.

Serious congestion occurred on Saturday when the checks were more stern, causing road users to take more than two hours to complete a travel distance of mere five kilometers.

Police cars with their sirens on could hardly pass through the bumper-to-bumper crawl too.

At least seven cars broke down, believed to be a result of overheated engines.


Protestors and riot police confront in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia on August 1. More than 30,000 people took part in a massive demonstration against the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the city towards the National Palace to hand over a memorandum to the King on the abolishment of the ISA. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

According to a local daily, the police began to arrest suspected organizers of illegal gatherings as early as 11 a.m. at the National Mosque here, but the police failed to hinder the restfrom taking part.

The Star said that the number went on and as of 3:30 p.m. police had confirmed the arrest of 157 people.

The Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) from the police force was forced to fire water canons and tear gas to disperse the people but they soon re-gathered.

Some participants took with them salt and water to wash off the irritant caused by the gas.


Roit police are ready to throw tear shell to disperse the massive demonstrators in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia on August 1. More than 30,000 people took part in the massive demonstration against the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the city towards the National Palace to hand over a memorandum to the King on the abolishment of the ISA. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The FRU was seen to be stationed at various parts of the city identified as the gathering "hot spots."

The ISA was enacted to deal with certain threats the country faced. It allowed the police to detain suspected people for 60 days without trial. The detention period may be extended to two years at the consent of Malaysian Home Minister.

However, those who object to the ISA are of the view that the government has been misusing the act as a tool against the members of the opposition parties.

They have also claimed that there are detainees who have been detained for eight years at the Kamunting Detention Center in Perak State.

According to the initial plan, two groups of the opposite opinions towards the ISA are going to submit memoranda to the Kingto respectively support and object the abolishment of the ISA.


Demonstrators try to avoid the tear shells released by police in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia on August 1. More than 30,000 people took part in a massive demonstration against the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the city towards the National Palace to hand over a memorandum to the King on the abolishment of the ISA.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

There were six gathering points for the two groups to gather and they would march towards the Palace at 3 p.m.

However, The Star reported that the Pro-ISA rally was canceled.

It has been not confirmed whether the people taking part in the rally Saturday were all anti-ISA.

Later in the afternoon, the Light Rail Transit was directed to skip Masjid Jamek Station, which was also a frequent point of gathering.

Source: Xinhua

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