HOLDING candles, waving banners and chanting, about 2,000 people gathered and marched peacefully in downtown Kuala Lumpur on 27 Sept 2008 to protest against the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The crowd, which began walking from two different meeting points — Central Market and Dataran Merdeka — started gathering at 7pm. When police prevented them from holding their candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka, the protestors began walking along Jalan Tun Perak towards a Hindu temple on Jalan Pudu Lama, across from the Puduraya bas terminal (see also video gallery).
The gathering that began at Central Market was organised by civil society groups including the Writer Alliance for Media Independence. About 100 people met at the entrance of Central Market and walked with lit lanterns to Dataran Merdeka, where they were stopped by police and had to turn back.
This group eventually joined the much larger gathering, organised by Hindraf, which had started marching from Dataran Merdeka at about 8pm. The demonstrators called for the release of all ISA detainees, including five Hindraf leaders — R Kengadharan, M Manoharan, V Ganapathy Rao, P Uthayakumar and K Vasantha Kumar — who have been detained since 13 Dec 2007, as well as Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin, who was detained on 12 Sept 2008.
The ISA allows the government to detain a person indefinitely without trial.
Despite heavy police presence, no arrests were made, and the protestors were allowed to march without any incident. The crowd eventually dispersed at about 9.30pm.