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Anti-price hike rally chief arrested

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24:  The leader in Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam Malaysia (GAMIS) and the NGO, Turun, was arrested late last night.

The leader, University student Mohd Azan Safar, together with GAMIS and the NGO, are seeking to reduce the prices of goods and services for consumers.

Azan was picked up just before midnight, under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), as he was having his supper in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur.

It is learnt that a remand order is being obtained against him today to assist in police investigations into the move to hold a massive New Year’s Eve protest against the expected hikes in the costs of consumer goods and services, including the electricity tariff.

Gamis and Turun had held a protest against the impending price hikes on the people outside the Sogo shopping complex in Kuala Lumpur on December 11.

Another NGO, Solidarity Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), has criticised the authorities for arresting Azan without a valid reason.

SAMM’s national coordinator, Sheikh Yaser Abd Rahman, has also questioned the arrest.

“Can’t he be summoned to the police station to give information?” Sheikh Yaser asked.

“SAMM asks for Azan’s immediate release and we want the authorities, namely the police, not to be duped by provocations by the BN.

“The authorities should be rational in making a decision and not follow BN’s directives as the the people are being upset,” he said in a statement.

Sheikh Yaser added that Azan’s arrest would not deter them from protesting against the proposed price hikes on New Year’s Eve.

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