KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has expressed disappointment over the police's decision to disallow his debate with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad from proceeding in Perak this weekend.
Nazri said he would nonetheless attend the event at Sultan Azlan Shah Mara Junior Science College this Saturday, adding that he hoped Dr Mahathir would also be present.
This came after Perak acting Police Chief Datuk Hasnan Hassan said the police had rejected an application by the Karangkraf Media group to hold the debate.
Hasnan listed four reasons for the rejection, including the event organiser's failure to submit a notification form 10 days before the event, which is required under Section 9 (1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.
Nazri said the police's reasons for not approving the event did not hold water, as the debate was a discussion between two people and not an assembly.
"I am disappointed. This is a debate, and not an assembly. I don't understand why the police are rejecting my rights," Nazri told reporters at the Parliament lobby here today.
"Since when have we become a police state? Dr Mahathir and I are not trying to incite a riot. I am a minister and Dr Mahathir is a former prime minister."