Planned Parliament protest fails to kick off

KUALA LUMPUR: A planned protest by an Umno-linked group consisting of 50 individuals failed to take off outside Parliament building after the police intervened.

The group, known as "Pemantau Malaysia Baru" (New Malaysia Watchdogs), had initially planned to march towards Parliament from a restaurant in Bukit Aman.

The group, clad mostly in black, wanted to protest against alleged attempts by the Government to undermine the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's power, the position of Islam, and bumiputra rights in the country.

The group, led by Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam (pic), had gathered at the restaurant at 8.30am, before marching towards the Parliament gates.

However, a standoff between the group and 28 officers from the police and the Light Strike Force ordered the group to disperse.

A scuffle nearly broke out after the protestors defied police orders not to march towards Parliament.

However, Lokman told the group to calm down and the group had dispersed shortly at 10am

"We just wanted to walk to Parliament to show our support and loyalty to the King, which is evident in our placards that read 'daulat tuanku' and 'rakyat dan raja berpisah tiada'.

"I don't understand why (Prime Minister) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is so afraid of this and ordered the police to prevent us from gathering peacefully," he claimed.

Local artist Ellie Suriati and Umno Youth Exco Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz were also present during the gathering.

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