KUALA LUMPUR: Police roadblocks leading into the city caused massive jams throughout Monday morning, with Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar issuing an apology to the Malaysian public but reiterating that the police operations were undertaken in the interest of public security.
Most major roads leading to the city have been experiencing traffic congestion since Saturday, when police launched Ops Padam and mounted roadblocks at 12 entry points into the city.
Police said they were staving off an illegal gathering that Pakatan Rakyat was planning at Parliament or its grounds on Monday morning, in anticipation of a motion of no-confidence being filed against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Cabinet.
The police obtained a court order barring Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, his supporters and the public from holding any rally or participating in it within a 5km radius of the Parliament building.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders have denied they were planning any such gathering.
The roadblocks are expected to continue until midnight on Monday or until further notice.
In Dewan Rakyat, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected a motion by Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) to seek an explanation on the heightened security measures imposed on roads in the city and the closure of routes to Parliament House.
Salahuddin said that the police roadblocks which began on Saturday had caused discomfort to the public.
“Parliament has become like a war-zone,” he said, adding that Pakatan Rakyat had not given any directive to its members to gather in Parliament on Monday.
Pandikar Amin said that the House could only discuss issues under the Standing Orders that were related to the House proceedings.
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