Monday, March 27, 2006

Protest over fuel price hike continues

Today's Malaysiakini's report at 11:14 am (in full without any editing):

Traffic in certain parts of the city were brought to a halt when more than 500 people marched from the Parliament building to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) office in protest of the recent hike in fuel prices. The protest was led by the umbrella body of workers' unions, the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC).

At about 9am, the protestors gathered at the Parliament building to submit memorandums to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz and Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.

However, the police only permitted two representatives to enter and this was rejected by the protestors, who wanted a delegation of 10 to submit the memorandums on the price hike. After negotiations, the police agreed to a five-member delegation on the grounds that the rest disperse.

The protestors turned down the proposal and decided to march to the Suhakam office instead.

They brandished placards and shouted slogans as they made their way through the city streets, bringing vehicles to a standstill each time they crossed a street. The protestors reached the Suhakam office located along Jalan Raja Laut at about 10.40am and were met by Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel and two water canon trucks.

The entrance to the building had been cordoned-off by the police.

Yesterday, in scenes reminiscent of the reformasi demonstrations a few years ago, police fired water cannon at another MTUC-led protest at the Petronas Twin Towers and 22 were arrested.

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