Police to investigate 107 opposition MPs for protesting outside Parliament

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Police denied allegations that MPs were barred from entering Parliament House, which houses their offices, and that the blocks were for ‘illegal gathering’.

Afif Abd Halim/TMI

Police will summon 107 MPs for gathering at Dataran Merdeka this morning after they were not allowed to enter Parliament, Kuala Lumpur police chief Azmi Abu Kassim said.

He said police have identified those at the “protest”, which he called “Perhimpunan Solariti Bersama Anwar” (solidarity gathering with Anwar), and they would be called in for questioning soon.

“Police obtained information from the media today that the solidarity gathering with Anwar Ibrahim at Parliament would be taking place.

“Police blocked all roads leading to Parliament to prevent them from entering.

“However, initial investigations showed that 107 opposition MPs had joined the gathering this morning and we will be calling them for statements,” Azmi told a press conference this afternoon.

However, checks with opposition MPs found that they never called the gathering this morning as a solidarity event for Anwar, the opposition leader and PKR president.

Lembah Pantai MP and PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil confirmed that the gathering did not have a name and was not focused on Anwar.

“We just wanted to go to Parliament. In fact, it could be an infringement of MPs’ rights under the Penal Code (Section 124) by preventing them from exercising their lawful powers as MPs,” Fahmi said.

Meanwhile, Azmi said two police reports were lodged over the MPs’ gathering this morning.

Azmi said investigations would be held under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the Penal Code and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

He said, under the Penal Code, actions that are “likely to spread the infection of any disease” carry the penalty of imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine, or both.

Asked if MPs are barred from entering Parliament on days when the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara are not in session, Azmi responded in the negative.

Hairul Anuar Rahim/NST

“As far as I know, they have offices there, so they are allowed to enter,” he said.

When asked why the police did not let the opposition MPs enter Parliament, Azmi reiterated the police were told that an illegal gathering would take place.

“We received information that there will be a gathering. An illegal gathering. This is not about MPs. This is about the information we received.

“To ensure the safety of all, including the MPs, we made the decision to block some roads in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.