'Protest not a plot to oust Malaysian government'

'Protest not a plot to oust Malaysian government'

PETALING JAYA - The planned protest in Kuala Lumpur on New Year's Eve is not a plot to overthrow the Government, student activists say.

Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) chairman Mohamed Bukhairy Sofian said the gathering was organised to address the rising cost of living.

"This will be a peaceful gathering as provided for in Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution.

"We also urge the Government to keep the promises made during the last elections, (and) to stop all wastage and leakages that have to be borne by the rakyat," he said in a statement yesterday.

Mohamed Bukhairy said the gathering's organisers, collectively known as Gerakan3112-Turun, were supported by other non-governmental organisations including Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup (Turun).

He added that the group had identified Sogo, Masjid Jamek, and Central Market as checkpoints for protesters to meet before the protest.

"We will meet at the three points from 9pm onwards, and start walking towards Dataran DBKL at exactly 10pm.

"After the three groups have assembled, we will head to Dataran Merdeka.

"We hope this gathering will be an effective signal to the Government to show that students will not stay silent if those in power bully the rakyat," he said.

Last week, Turun chairman Azan Safar clarified that the student protest had no connection with another planned gathering to overthrow the Government to be held at Dataran Merdeka on New Year's Eve.

However, Azan was arrested on Wednesday "for activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy".

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