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NEWS UPDATES 1 August 2009

Malaysia police detain 25 for protests in capital

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Malaysian police arrested 25 people in capital Kuala Lumpur who gathered to protest against the draconian Internal Security Act, according to local news reports.

The police started setting up roadblocks on Friday ahead of the illegal gatherings, causing major traffic jams around the city.

The protest is organised by anti-ISA group GMI, which is made up of political parties and NGOs including PAS. Supporters of ISA are also expected to rally in the city.

On Friday, Malaysian opposition Islamist Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) said it would mobilise at least 50,000 of its members for the planned anti-ISA protest the next day, reported The Malaysian Insider.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has warned that stern action would be taken against those participating in rallies whether supporting or opposing the abolition of the ISA.

PAS Vice President Salahuddin Ayub was quoted by the online news website as saying that the Islamist party would continue to back the rally despite the warning from the authorities.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, who pledged to review ISA when he became Prime Minister in April, said the protest against the Internal Security Act pointless as it is being reviewed.

“Demonstrations cannot solve matters being considered by the Government but some are planning to do so to fit their political agenda,” the Star daily quoted Najib as saying.


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