KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 (Bernama) — The police arrested 18 people on Sunday at what they said was an illegal gathering here of about 500 protesting over price increases and a minimum wage.
Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman said they were held under Section 27 of the Police Act for participation in the gathering, at Jalan Chow Kit and in the vicinity of Maju Junction, in conjunction with Workers’ Day.
“They will be detained for a while to have their statements recorded,” he told reporters.
Almost 500 people, attired in red shirts and carrying banners, gathered at about 10.30am at Jalan Chow Kit and walked towards Maju Junction.
Some of the banners bore the words “Kami Mahu Hak Kami” (We Want Our Rights), “Gaji Minima” (Minimum Wage) and “Barang Naik Tapi Gaji Masih Minima” (Prices Have Gone Up But Wages Are At A Minimum).
The protesters were peaceful at first but became boisterous when some of them were arrested by the police for ignoring repeated orders to disperse.
Many of them sat down in the compound of Menara Tabung Haji, with some reading out their protest statements and others belting out in song their demand for workers’ rights.
A man from among the protesters then handed a piece of paper containing their demands to Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner James Nayagam who was present.
Nayagam told reporters the worker’s demands would be handed over to those concerned while the police would be asked to release those held.
The gathering dispersed at about noon.