Riot police fire water cannons at the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu protesters near Petaling Street, September 16, 2015. — File pic
Traders at popular tourist spot Petaling Street will be advised to shutter their businesses for two more days in light of the unrest yesterday when protesters from the “Red Shirt” rally attempted to barge in, Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association chairman Datuk Ang Say Tee has said.
Ang suggested to traders in Petaling Street and other affected areas to refrain from business operations for safety reasons for two additional days if the situation continues to be unstable, Chinese-language paper Sin Chew Daily reported today.
“Looking at today’s situation, the rally participants’ intentions is to barge into Petaling Street, until tonight the situation is still unclear, the association is worried that the rally participants will linger around Petaling Street and not leave,” he was quoted saying.
He told the paper that the period between 6pm and midnight yesterday was the most crucial and the most dangerous period, voicing worries of arson amid fears that the protesters would move to Petaling Street to carry out property damage after dispersing from Padang Merbok.
ng also thanked the enforcement agencies’ personnel, including those from the police and riot police for their role in blocking rally-goers from entering Petaling Street, having noted that several of them were injured while doing so.
Yesterday, riot police were forced to fire water cannons at #Merah169 rally-goers who had mounted repeated attempts to enter Petaling Street, and after the latter group threw water bottles and stones at the police cordon.
Police had been straining to keep the crowd from entering the area that houses businesses perceived as Chinese-owned in the area informally known as “Chinatown”.
After the water cannons were fired, the crowd had another standoff with police before finally dispersing from Petaling Street without incident.
The Petaling Street was the second standoff between the crowd and police today, after rally-goers charged police lines Jalan Bukit Bintang repeatedly in an attempt to reach the Low Yat Plaza shopping mall.
Today, Sin Chew Daily reported Low Yat Plaza’s security manager as confirming that four to five Malay men holding red shirts were spotted in the tech mall yesterday morning, but that no untoward incident had happened after they were asked to leave.
He said that Low Yat Plaza had beefed up its security by 40 per cent and noted that police had closely cooperated with the mall management by deploying 350 police personnel.
The pro-Malay rally yesterday saw a turnout of 50,000 people according to police estimates.