PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang today gave the assurance that 'Gathering 355' organised by the party tomorrow at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur, would be smooth and peaceful.
The gathering is in support of a private member's bill to be brought by Hadi to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, better known as Act 355.
Hadi had tabled a motion in the Dewan Rakyat in November last year to seek the approval of the house to table the Private Member's Bill, but requested that the detailed explanation on the motion be made at the next Parliament sitting.
Speaking to reporters after his weekly 'kuliah' (lecture) in Marang, Terengganu, Hadi said PAS had met government and security authorities over preparations for tomorrow's gathering, to ensure the safety of participants.
"The gathering has the approval of the authorities. As such, the security forces will act against any form of provocation by irresponsible people.
"I hope PAS supporters will attend so as to fulfill our objective to support the amendments to Act 355 to empower the status of the Syariah Courts in the country's legal system," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
Hadi also said that more than 200,000 people were expected to attend the gathering, including non-Muslims who supported the Bill.
"We invite all to attend. We are open for all of us to express our support to empower Islam and, at the same time, give non-Muslims the freedom to practise their beliefs.
"As of now, I can confirm that there will be government representatives at the gathering," he said.
The gathering is expected to begin at 2.30pm and end at 11pm, and will have several activities such as Q & A with speakers and speeches by NGO and government representatives, as well as Abdul Hadi himself.
Meanwhile, DAP said its central executive committee has decided against participating in tomorrow's rally.
“PAS is exercising its constitutional right to assemble peacefully. That is entirely up to them.
“We have made our stand clear. We do not support the proposed amendments to the bill be it in its original or amended form. We have and will continue to oppose it in Parliament,” said DAP lawmakers Gobind Singh and Zairil Khir Johari in a joint statement.