Monday, December 10, 2007

All roads to Parliament blocked

Dec 11, 07 10:35am


The police have closed all entries to Parliament since this morning, ostensibly to block members of polls reform group Bersih from submitting a [protest memorandum against a proposed constitutional amendment.

Federal Reserve Unit trucks and police personnel have also been positioned along Jalan Parliament, the main road leading to the Parliament from the city centre.

Roadblocks have been set up in various spots in and around Kuala Lumpur, causing massive traffic jams. Police personnel are stationed along main roads to monitor crowd movement.

Yesterday the police had obtained a court order to restrain Bersih and its supporters from gathering at Parliament today.

The order - the second of its kind following a similar order to ban the Nov 25 Hindraf rally - prohibited four named individuals and other Bersih supporters from attending or taking part in any gathering.

Those named are PAS leaders Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi, Mohamad Sabu and Adenaan Saad and Malaysian Trade Union Congress chief Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud.

The order also stipulates that "other interested parties" are similarly prohibited from taking part.

Bersih, the Coalition for Clear and Fair Elections, wants the government to withdraw the Constitutional Amendment Bill scheduled to be tabled today which, if passed, will see the current Election Commission (EC) chairperson’s tenure being extended by a year, to the new age limit of 66.

Despite the court order, Bersih leaders have said that they would proceed their plan to hand over the memorandum.

Police have warned that anyone disobeying the court order will be arrested. In addition, they have also warned that Bersih has failed to obtain a police permit, making any gathering illegal.

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