KLANG, April 24 (Bernama) -- The authorities need to be firm over the organising of a public rally in the federal capital this Saturday by considering the interests of the majority compared to that of a small group, said Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
He said the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011, which was fairer, was introduced to replace Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 and it should be respected.
"The law has been amended and the interests of the various groups considered with regard to peaceful gatherings and one of the matters stressed upon is the place for such a gathering," he said when asked to comment on the opposition-backed organisers insisting on holding the public rally at Dataran Merdeka although they have been offered alternative venues.
"If the organisers want to be known as law-breakers, it's up to them. The public must decide. We don't want see a group of people going against the law," he said.
Rais was met after officiating at a 1Malaysia Community Culture Popularising programme for the Kapar parliamentary constituency in Kampung Batu 4, Kapar, here and having a closed-door meeting with Kapar Umno leaders.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has offered the Cheras Badminton Stadium, Cheras Football Stadium and Titiwangsa Stadium as alternative venues for the organisers to hold the public rally.
The Malaysia Stadium Corporation is also prepared to allow the use of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil for the rally.
Meanwhile, Rais said the 1Malaysia communities had now understood transformation and the benefits and changes introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and had themselves felt the changes to their way of life.
He said the winds of change had also been blowing in Selangor, with the Barisan Nasional increasingly accepted by the people in the state.
"The people should not be influenced by the opposition's tactics and propaganda as it has brought no development since ruling Selangor," he added.
On another note, he said his ministry would create more people-oriented programmes through the programmes organised at the 1,140 1Malaysia communities nationwide.
Asked on the giving of radios with opposition broadcasts in Sarawak, Rais said, "It's not wrong to give out those radios. The people should accept them but turn to the RTM channels. That's the best thing to do."