IPOH, Mar 21: Perak police have rejected the application for a permit by the organiser to hold a debate between former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Kangsar near here this Saturday.
Perak acting police Datuk Hasnan Hassan said the application was denied after taking into consideration factors like safety and security, public order, upholding the rights and people’s freedom.
He said Kuala Kangsar police chief ACP Ahmad Termizi Abd Haq received the application from a representative of the organiser Kumpulan Media Karangkraf at 3pm yesterday as per Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
“It was stated in the application that the debate between Nazri and Dr Mahathir would be held on March 25 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Dewan Maktab Rendah Sains Mara, Kati, Kuala Kangsar.
“The Kuala Kangsar police chief has rejected the application and this will be followed with an official notification which will be hand delivered to the organiser today. The organiser has already been informed of the decision (to deny the permit ) yesterday,” he said in a statement here today.
Hasnan said one of the reasons why the application was denied was due to the delay in submitting the notification form as stated under Section 9 (1) of APA 2012.
“The organisers shall produce a notification to the officer in charge namely the district police chief within 10 days before the gathering,” he said.
He also said that the selected venue for the debate, the MRSM Kuala Kangsar, a school, was a protected place as stated in the First Schedule (Section 3 APA 2012).
“Besides, eight police reports have been lodged by the public and local residents who are concerned about their own safety as well as of their families,” he said.
Hasnan also added that in the Third Schedule of the act, it was stated that such an assembly or dialogue was not included in the list of permitted assemblies and asked all parties involved to abide orders by the Kuala Kangsar police chief.
“Stern action will be taken according to the law if this debate continues,” Hasnan said.