Dec 17, 2008 By ROYCE CHEAH
KUALA LUMPUR: Jerit (Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas or the Marginalised People’s Network) will be making its final stop at Parliament on Thursday in its “Cycling for Change” campaign which would see about 100 cyclists taking part.
Sungai Siput MP Dr D Jeyakumar, at a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday, told reporters that he had arranged with the Parliament’s administration to allow the cyclists to enter the area.
“They will cycle to the back of Parliament to use the multipurpose hall and have lunch. After that they will pass a memorandum to both Barisan Nasional and Opposition MPs.”
Dr Jeyakumar also said that he was not behind the Jerit movement, but was just taking part in it.
Anxious wait: Angry parents demanding entry while policemen in anti-riot gear stand guard at the Rawang police station Tuesday.
“To say that I am the influencing factor means we do not respect Jerit. They are capable of making their own decisions.”
He chided Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar for his decision to stop the cycling campaign, saying that the police chiefs in 12 police districts that the group had passed through previously, had allowed the cyclists to carry on.
“These police chiefs accepted our explanation that it was not an illegal procession because there were no banners and we were merely cycling.”
Dr Jeyakumar also said the allegations that Jerit was exploiting those under 18 years of age were inaccurate.
“All of those under 18 have written permission from their parents.
“Furthermore, this experience would be invaluable for them as they get to see the entire country.”
DCP Khalid had said that police would be taking action against Dr Jeyakumar under Section 32 of the Child Act for exploitation of children.
There were 28 individuals aged 18 years and below who were involved in the allegedly illegal procession held by Jerit on Mondayand detained by police in Rawang. Another 30 people were arrested for participating in the procession but were released after their statements were recorded.
DCP Khalid said the youths, aged between 15 and 17, were brought to the Rawang police station “to save them from being exploited or misused by irresponsible groups.”