KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 – Business and leisure activities in Petaling Street here are running as usual on Saturday with a good mix of visitors which despite a planned Red Shirt rally in the area. Traffic was also busy in the area, also known as ‘Chinatown’, with people spending their time shopping after Muslims celebrated Aidiladha on Thursday.
A heavy police presence has ensured public order. Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainol Samah said as of this evening, businesses in the vicinity were operating as usual. He said there are no Red Shirt elements in the Petaling Street or Bukit Bintang areas while patrols and surveillance by the police will continue.
Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition leaders were also seen in Petaling Street, and many of them do not agree with any racism-based rally. Federal Territory Gerakan chairman Wilson Lau Hoi Keong told reporters that such gatherings should not be held as it would only affect businesses and tarnish Malaysia’s image.
PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said there was no place for those who tried to raise the issue of racism in society. Also were present Gerakan vice-chairman Datuk Dr Asharuddin Ahmad and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang. Joint Malay NGO chairman Datuk Jamal Md Yunus was detained on Friday night with under Section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code in relation to his remarks of an alleged rioting during a rally in Petaling Street.
The rally was reportedly planned to express discontent, among others, over the presence of foreigners doing business in the area, as well as sale of prohibited and fake goods. Meanwhile, roast duck seller Amy Choong, 40, said she was not worried as the police would ensure their safety.
A florist, Shanti Andalam, 62, said she had planned to “close shop” for the day if the situation became uncertain. In the end, it was unnecessary. She said she are seeing heavy police presence which doesn’t need to worry while the business also runs as usual. A pharmacy owner, Ng Chee Yat, 50, praised the police efforts in ensuring safety in the area. He said that the policemen are doing a good job with giving them credit because they’ve made so much effort to come and ensure public order.