KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1, 2016:

Despite being advised not to participate in the banned “Shut down Sungai Besi” assembly, some 30 participants turn up — only to be chased away by the police.

The planned assembly which was suppose to take place at the Sungai Besi toll gate from 9pm yesterday till midnight fizzled out after the group, which gathered at a petrol station, was overwhelmed by the presence of at least 200 policemen in the vicinity.

Following the poor turnout, the assembly, which was meant to object the increase in toll prices, became a political speech for Opposition members to slam the government.

According to Parti Amanah Negara deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, who turned up for the assembly, the people were struggling to cope with the rising cost of living

“I hope that 2016 will be the year that the people get relief from the Barisan Nasional government.

“Our struggle is not over yet and we will continue to fight for the rights of all Malaysians, regardless of religion or race.”

The event was also attended by DAP Women’s wing assistant secretary Young Syefura Othman, who shared similar sentiments.

Shortly after midnight, the group dispersed peacefully under the watch of the police.

Earlier, the police had declared that the New Year’s Eve assembly at the Sungai Besi toll was illegal, urging people not to participate.

Serdang district police chief Assistant Commissioner Razimi Ahmad said police had information that the assembly was set to take place but it was illegal because it had not received police approval.

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