Haul up DBKL if buntings wrongly removed, Khalid tells Muslim unity rally organisers

Justin Ong
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad stressed today that organisers only received approval to install 150 buntings announcing the event. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Organisers of PAS-Umno’s Muslim unity rally here this weekend are free to take action against City Hall (DBKL) if they believe their promotional buntings were taken down without cause, Khalid Samad said today.

The Federal Territories minister has engaged in an exchange with Umno leaders over the matter since yesterday and stressed today that organisers only received approval to install 150 buntings announcing the event.

Although DBKL acknowledged that the organisers had applied for 1,000, Khalid said it did not alter the fact that buntings outside of those approved must be removed by law.

“DBKL is taking action to remove the buntings based on violations of the approval conditions. If the organiser claims DBKL’s actions are unlawful, please take the appropriate action,” he said in a statement.

Banners for the Muslim Unity Rally line the road leading to Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 12, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Khalid also defended himself over his remarks yesterday insisting the organisers only applied to put up 150 buntings, which have since been disproved, saying he had commented then based on information provided to him.

The minister also questioned why organisers did not highlight that they were not made to pay the requisite fees for the approval when they were so eager to criticise DBKL.

“Aside from that, it was also not announced how ‘kind’ DBKL was to the organisers by not imposing any charges for the 150 buntings it approved,” he added.

Yesterday, former Umno president mocked Khalid over the latter’s erroneous claims about the bunting applications, saying the minister was either a liar, a slow reader, or could not count properly.

The two traded additional barbs over the matter, ending with Najib accusing Khalid of playing the fool in an attempt to save face over his earlier remarks and error.

The rally that will be held across the weekend is also to mark the formalisation of Umno and PAS’s political cooperation.

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