Hadi: Rally will be peaceful

On a normal day: A typical traffic situation at Padang Merbok, the venue for today’s PAS rally.

PETALING JAYA: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has given a guarantee that its rally to be held at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur today will be smooth and peaceful.

“This rally has received approval from the authorities.

“They will take action against any provocative act attempted by irresponsible parties,” Abdul Hadi told journalists after delivering his weekly lecture at Rusila, Marang, yesterday.

He urged PAS supporters to attend the rally in a peaceful and calm manner to show their support for the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 355.

The proposed amendments will strengthen the position of Syariah courts in the legal system of the country, he said.

Among others, the amendments seek an increase in the current jail term from three to 30 years.

It also calls for a fine of up to RM100,000 and up to 100 strokes of the cane.

The Syariah criminal punishment is currently capped at three years’ prison term, RM5,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.

“We invite everyone to attend. We are rallying for public support to empower Islam and at the same time give non-Muslims the freedom to practise their faiths,” he added.

Abdul Hadi expects more than 200,000 people, including non-Muslims, to show up.

PAS will station 3,500 volunteers to help supporters and ensure the rally goes smoothly.

Kelantan has declared tomorrow a holiday so that those who attend the rally do not need to rush back to work.

“The response has been very good, the attendance may exceed expectations,” Kelantan Mentri Besar and PAS deputy spiritual adviser Datuk Ahmad Yakob told Harakah Daily yesterday.

Speeches by PAS leaders, Islamic NGO representatives and a government minister have been lined up between 2pm and 11pm.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom is expected to attend the rally at 8.16pm, according to the programme issued by PAS.

Ahmad said anyone, including leaders from Umno, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and other political parties, was welcome to attend the rally.

In another press conference, the police are confident that the PAS rally will proceed without a hitch, says Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Amar Singh.

“We have met the organisers and gave them a list of do’s and don’ts for the rally.

“We are confident everyone will behave themselves,” he said yesterday.

The police list, among others, include asking rally participants not to bring children to the venue and to abide by instructions by traffic policemen.

PAS had earlier applied to use Dataran Merdeka for the gathering but Kuala Lumpur City Hall turned down the request.

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