Organiser calls off anti-Dr Zakir Naik rally following Anwar’s intervention

Yiswaree Palansamy
Police monitor a rally in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 — The organiser of a planned rally to protest against controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik today announced that the event has been cancelled.

He said this was decided following a call from PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had requested that the event be called off.

Organiser Shankar Ganesh, had via Facebook Live, announced the decision, claiming that Anwar has promised to help with the issue.

People gather for a rally in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019.

He also played part of a recorded conversation with the person he claimed to be Anwar. 

“So he has spoken to me. After he spoke, what he said is: Please do not carry on with the event tomorrow, meet me next week.

“But today, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim himself called me, saying not to do it tomorrow, meet me (Anwar) next week, and to trust him that he will do something. Let’s sit down and discuss, he’s giving me a meeting next week.

“But today, he himself requested not to; Come and meet me, we sit down and we plan, and I will help you all. 

“Because of those words, I have to put my faith for the sake of the Indian community,  to cancel the gathering tomorrow,” Shanker said.

People gather for a rally in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019.

He said that what is important is results, and bearing that ultimate goal in mind, he adhered to Anwar’s purported request.

“We need results. End of the day, results is the main factor we need to get for our Indian community and the Indian society,” he added.

He also labelled the purported phone call from Anwar as a “plus point”, which must be heeded, adding that if the rally tomorrow goes on as planned, he would be arrested for sure and expressed fear of chaos.

“I too have to use my sense. So today, I wish to announce an important news. This is the final decision. 

“The programme tomorrow, August 24, it’s going to be cancelled, because I am putting my 101 per cent faith on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, because he said that he wants to meet us, have a meeting, and he wants to help us. He said don’t worry, we will do something. So let’s do this. Let’s put our faith on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” Shanker said.

People gather for a rally in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019.

He stressed that Anwar had pledged that he would solve issues affecting the Indian community.

Earlier today, Anwar had told the rally organiser to cancel the event as Dr Zakir has already been banned by authorities from speaking anywhere in the country. 

The rally was scheduled to take place tomorrow in Brickfields. 

Brickfields district acting police chief Supt Arifai Tarawe said a notice on the proposed rally submitted by the organiser to the police was incomplete and did not meet legal requirements.

Police monitor a rally in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019.

The Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim was earlier reported by Bernama, warning the public to steer clear of Brickfields tonight and tomorrow.

The gathering tonight is in protest of the proposal to teach Jawi in schools.

The planned protest tomorrow is to voice disagreement against Dr Zakir, after he reportedly questioning the loyalty of the ethnic Indians here, towards Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Reports quoting him as saying the local Indian community were more loyal to Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Dr Mahathir triggered fresh demands for Putrajaya to deport him.


People gather for a rally in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur August 23, 2019.

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