Key players for a major rally planned for tomorrow in Kuala Lumpur are expecting participation from over 250 Malay NGOs with possibly over 300,000 members to turn up.
The rally's organiser - earlier shrouded in mystery - was revealed over the weekend as the Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan (Pesaka).
Pesaka, however, said its rally is to be called 'Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu' instead of the earlier name of 'Himpunan Maruah Melayu'.
Its president, Ali Rustam (photo) , also said that participants need not wear red nor be Malay.
He said Pesaka, which obtained a permit to hold the rally at Padang Merbok, is holding the rally because Malay dignity was 'hurt' by the Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30.
As such it had invited other NGOs, such as the Malay NGOs Coalition, whose supporters are known to don red t-shirts, to join in the rally.
Malay NGOs Coalition Malaysia chairperson Jamal Mohd Yunos said he expects 300,000 participants to gather at four checkpoints before walking to Padang Merbok.
The four gathering points are:
Jamal (photo) is expected to lead the crowd from Jalan Conlay as they make their way down the four kilometres to Padang Merbok.
Coincidentally, the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is expected to hold an event for 20,000 settlers called the 'Himpunan Warga Felda Sempena Hari Malaysia' at Jalan Conlay.
Although Felda has denied that their event has anything to do with the 'red shirts rally', the coincidence of the event’s venue being the same as of the rally's checkpoint is too hard to ignore.
Central Market gathering, too
Jalan Conlay is also a short distance away from Bukit Bintang. The 'red shirts' had initially announced Bukit Bintang and Petaling Street as gathering points, evidently aiming at Chinese-majority areas.
However, these major commercial points were excluded following a directive issued after the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.
It remains to be seen if Jamal will be able to abide by the order from Umno's top leadership to steer clear of Bukit Bintang (photo) and Petaling Street.
Police today announced it will close several major roads tomorrow including Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang in stages and based on need.
Participants from the above mentioned four checkpoints will start moving towards Padang Merbok after zohor prayers at 2pm.
Activities to be held during the rally remain unclear but participants are expected to listen to various ceramah as well as participate in communal prayers.
Meanwhile, messages have been circulating online regarding a gathering in front of Central Market in Kuala Lumpur at 2pm tomorrow.
According to the Facebook page of 'Malaysians Against Racism and Fascism Action', participants are urged to wear black .
They are also urged to bring placards bearing anti-racism messages.
“We expect the participation of all races be they Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Punjabi, Iban, Kadazan, Bidayuh, Bangladeshi, Indonesians, Burmese , Nepalese, Thai, Arab and any kind of race,” read the Facebook status.