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Nude protest called off, say PR government has done well - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

A group of activists have decided to drop their plan to strip naked and stalk Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim in protest against a hike in public housing rental rates.

The Malaysian People's Reform Movement (Reformis) today said that the decision to drop the naked protest was made after the issue of low-cost houses' rental under the People's Housing Scheme (PPR) was settled.

Acting Reformis president Badrul Hisham Mohd Hanafiah said he and his exco members made the decision after the Selangor state government decided to retain the RM124 a month rental for PPR houses for those under the RM1,500 a month income group.

"We accept the Selangor government's decision in good faith and hope such lapse in administration would not recur," Badrul told reporters today after holding an hour-long meeting with Khalid's political secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who represented the state government.

The naked protest was strongly advocated by the movement's former president Ramlan Abu Bakar.

Badrul today told reporters that the Reformis exco had unanimously decided to expel Ramlan on Dec 18.

He said the decision was made when Ramlan failed to adhere to the guidelines of the movement and used his absolute power to make decisions without consulting the members.

According to a Bernama report, Badrul also accused Ramlan of allegedly misusing signatures of exco members to issue a statement on the pretext that all exco members had agreed for the proposed naked protest in front of the state secretariat.

Former president denies accusations

Meanwhile, Ramlan denied accusations that he had misused the signature of exco members and called the accusations as malicious.

"I challenge Badrul to make a police report if he has evidence," said Ramlan.

It was previously reported that Ramlan had formed "Dare to be Nude Squad" to carry out the protest against the Selangor state government.

"We wanted a police permit to strip in front of the state secretariat as a sign of protest but we were denied it, so now we will stalk the (Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim) and go butt-naked when we get the chance," Ramlan had told the media previsouly.

The group was protesting the state government's decision in July to more than double the rental of low-cost housing in opposition-controlled Selangor, from RM124 to RM250 ringgit.

However Ramlan's plan were severely criticised by various quarters, including several conservative Islamic groups.

PAS, which is part of the opposition alliance, also criticised the plans, with its spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat saying only "uncivilised" people would resort to such an act.

"Even an animal like a cow which is stark naked, god created a tail to hide its genitals and here we are talking about human beings who have been given a mind," he was reported to have said by Bernama -