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City Hall rejects Pakatan's application to hold rally at Padang Merbok
KUALA LUMPUR: City Hall has rejected Pakatan Rakyat's application to hold its Blackout 505 rally at Padang Merbok on June 22, but allowed it to proceed on the same date at a more conducive venue.
KL Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib cited several reasons why Padang Merbok was not a suitable venue, namely because its location within the heart of KL would cause massive traffic congestion.
"The opposition wants to hold their rally between 11am and 6pm, and there is heavy traffic during those hours.
"Many hawkers and traders have also applied to open stalls on that day, so we must ensure they are given a conducive area to operate. An open space like Padang Merbok will not suit them," he told reporters at his office today.
Phesal said the open field had also been rented out to the Olympic Council of Malaysia on June 23.
"They would need the field one day before to make logistical preparations for their event. And they have applied for the venue since the end of last year."
Despite rejecting their choice of venue, Phesal said he was prepared to sit down with representatives from the opposition and the police to discuss a suitable alternative.
"We will send them an official invite to have a sit down with us on June 14 to discuss a mutual agreement so that the rally can go ahead.
"Both City Hall and the police have given the green light for the rally, it is only the venue which we disagree with.
"They should consider a closed venue, such as Stadium Titiwangsa or Stadium Merdeka, as previous rallies have successfully been held there," he added.