If you are completely clueless of why there was no way you could drive into Brickfields this past weekend, we have the low down for you. Over the weekend, a rally named ‘Say No to Zakir Naik, Equal Rights to Indians & Other Races’ was organised to protest the controversial televangelist, Dr Zakir Naik, and the introduction of Khat in the Malaysian education syllabus, particularly vernacular schools.

Although it was a peaceful demonstration, friction did build up at the rally and enforcement officers arrested a couple of protestors. To give you a quick low down, here is everything you need to know about the protests in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur:

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1. No To Khat & Dr Zakir Naik

Over the weekend, a rally was organised by Shankar Ganesh to protest the controversial televangelist, Dr Zakir Naik, and the introduction of Khat in the Malaysian education syllabus, particularly vernacular schools.

2. Two Protestors Were Arrested 

A 34-year-old Indian man and a 67-year-old Chinese man were arrested. They were investigated under Section 9(1) that requires the organiser of a rally to notify the police officer in charge of the police district (OCPD) 10 days before the event is held. The both men were granted bail and released a day later.

3. The Anti-Zakir Naik Rally Was Cancelled After DSAI Intervention

The rally against controversial Islamic preacher was cancelled the next day following intervention from PKR President, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The rally organiser, Shankar Ganesh, announced the cancellation on Facebook Live. Awar Ibrahim has asked for a personal meeting with the organisers to find a solution for the problem and are scheduled to meet this week.

4. The Rallies Were Illegal

Both rallies were considered illegal as police retracted the permit for the ‘Say No to Zakir Naik, Equal Rights to Indians & Other Races’ rally. The reason for this was that the permit application was incomplete. The organisers submitted the documents over 2 weeks ago and were told to postpone it to this Saturday.

Brickfields district acting police chief Superintendent Arifai Tarawe told local press that the permit application for the rally did not meet the legal requirements and was incomplete.

The organisers are awaiting a meeting and response from the nation leaders regarding these matters.

More updates to follow.

As the Editor of Varnam MY, Shangkharee thinks it is important that a site represents the Tamil diaspora in Malaysia and across the globe. Between scouring for current stories, spilling unpleasant views and sipping on endless cups of coffee, she aims to deliver stories and shape a more inquisitive and critical community.