The police have barred an opposition dialogue with retired army personnel scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur tonight, claimed PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli.
Despite this, he vowed to press ahead with the Setiawangsa event, and urged the veterans to attend.
This is the first in a series of meetings dubbed ‘Dialog Perajurit’ to be held in parliamentary constituencies with the highest number of army voters.
“In view of this, I will continue with the dialogue… I have received confirmation that retired army personnel from other states will also be attending.
“The action to stop the dialogue confirms that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration is concerned about the influence of army veterans and the impact on Malay votes in the next general election,” he added in a media statement.
Malaysiakini has contacted Wangsa Maju district police chief Mohamad Roy Suhaimi Sarif for comment on the allegation that the event has been barred.
There are about 450,000 retired army personnel and an estimated 1.8 million members of their families who can vote, said Rafizi.
Umno is probably worried about this, as the issues affecting these personnel have been largely ignored, added Rafizi, who is also PKR vice-president.
“Only by starting this dialogue series openly, will the Najib administration take notice of their concerns,” he said.
Rafizi had previously said that he will prioritise the welfare of army veterans ahead of his possible jailing on charges under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
The Pandan MP had been ordered last Thursday by the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur to enter his defence for allegedly leaking classified documents related to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT).