PETALING JAYA - The organisers of the New Year's Eve protest against price hikes have thanked the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers for helping to ensure that the rally took place peacefully.
According to the chairman of Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup (Turun), Muhamad Azan Safar, the rally had adhered to its aim of being a peaceful protest. He denied any involvement in unruly acts, and said the huge attendance was proof that the people were truly burdened by the current cost of living.
"We thank the rakyat, from the famous to the common, that came together peacefully yesterday and dispersed promptly after," said Muhamad Azan, who added that the rally, which ended with the participants singing the national anthem at the stroke of midnight.
He maintains the act was symbolic of how Malaysians there loved the country, and were not planning to overthrow the Government.
"Turun denies any involvement in any acts of provocation or attempts at disrupting the New Year's Eve celebrations. In fact, we are against any efforts with such a goal," said Muhamad Azan in a statement yesterday.
He added that the Turun rally was just the beginning of more challenges in the coming year.
PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiat said the rally proved that the criticism leading up to it was mere fear-mongering.
In the same breath, he warned that the huge turnout was a sign that the rakyat would not stay quiet over their lot.
Demonstrators from several groups led by Turun converged on Dataran Merdeka on Tuesday evening and dispersed peacefully after the New Year countdown.
Although the performances by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall Orchestra and other artistes had to be cut short after some unruly people threw water bottles onto the stage, the New Year's party at the iconic field went on without any other untoward incident, though the customary fireworks had to be cancelled after the protesters stormed the Dataran Merdeka field.