KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz today insisted he will attend his proposed debate with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that has been rejected by Perak police.
The Umno leader also criticised the police for denying approval for the event, saying that Malaysia was not a “police state”.
“I will still go and I hope he (Dr Mahathir) attends as well,” Nazri told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Earlier today, Kuala Kangsar police district chief ACP Ahmad Termizi Abd Haq said the application was rejected for failing to meet the 10-day notice required by the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA).
Nazri questioned why the assembly law should be invoked for his proposed debate with the former prime minister at the MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) Padang Rengas this Saturday, March 25.
“Even if this come under PAA, I obtained permission from the venue owners (MARA),” he said.
“Since when can a person's rights be denied by some associations?” he asked.
He was referring to the non-governmental organisations that lodged police reports to stop the debate from happening.
Police previously revealed that there were eight such reports.
Nazri today said he was “very upset” by the police's decision, and guaranteed that nothing untoward would occur during the debate.
“I and (Dr Mahathir) will not instigate people to riot,” he added.
Padang Renggas is Nazri's parliamentary constituency. He invited Dr Mahathir to take part in the debate when the latter stops there as part of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's nationwide tour.