“Since when did we become a police state?”
This was the question put forth by Tourism and Culture Minster Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz after it was reported that Perak police denied the application for the much-talked about debate between him and former Premier Mahathir Mohamad.
The debate was planned for this Saturday at Dewan Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM), Kati in Kuala Kangsar.
Stressing that he would attend the debate on March 25, Mohamed Nazri said he did not understand why the police would deny him his rights.
“This is not a police state. Malaysia practises democracy. Tun (Mahathir) and I are not people who will incite a fight,” the Padang Rengas MP told reporters at the Parliament lobby today, as reported by Free Malaysia Today.
Mohamed Nazri then gave his assurance to reporters that the debate would proceed peacefully.
He also said he was ‘very upset and disturbed’ by the police’s decision.
“I have been the MP there (Padang Rengas) for 22 years. I don’t think a fight will take place,” he said.
Earlier, Bernama reported Perak acting police chief Hasnan Hassan as saying that the application was denied after taking into consideration factors like safety and security, public order, upholding the rights and people’s freedom.
Hasnan also said the organiser was late in submitting the notification for the event, citing a 10-day notice was required under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.
On that note, Mohamed Nazri insisted the event was not a peaceful rally and that Mara had given the approval to utilise the hall in MRSM.