PETALING JAYA, Oct 5 — The organiser of the Oktoberfest event, which was renamed Bavarian Festival, yesterday appealed the permit rejection by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), a councillor confirmed today.
Sean Oon Chong Ling, a MBPJ councillor, said the appeal letter dated October 4 was sent by hand to the city council yesterday at around 5pm.
“As far as I know, the organisers had sent a letter to MBPJ to ask for reconsideration,” he told reporters.
When asked for the latest developments, Oon said he did not have information on that and said he could not answer on behalf of the Petaling Jaya mayor.
In giving the chronology of events, Oon said MBPJ had on September 28 received the application from the organisers for the event.
Oon said MBPJ had then responded to the organiser on October 2 saying that the application was refused as six documents had not been submitted.
“So for those who say that we rejected because the police said they did not support, that is not true. Our rejection on October 2 is based on incomplete documentation,” he said, noting that the Petaling Jaya district police chief’s letter informing the PJ mayor of its non-support for the Bavarian Festival was dated October 3.
The six documents have since been furnished by the organiser, Oon confirmed.
The documents included items such as copy of the company’s registration, comments from the police, and approval from the venue owner. Other documents are identification card copies, an approval from the Communications and Multimedia Ministry’s Puspal agency for foreign performers, as well as a document on the payment of duties for alcohol.
Oon explained that it was common practice all this while for MBPJ to ask for the police’s comments on “high-risk events”.
“In all high-risk events, the police’s comment is important. But our general principle is if that application is for an activity with risks, we will ask for the police’s opinion, not just for Oktoberfest or beer festival...So there are events which involve a lot of people, like rallies in Padang Timur because it involves a large crowd. So it’s not limited to Oktoberfest. Let’s be fair,” he said.
The Bavarian Festival was scheduled to be held from this evening until this Sunday at the fifth floor carpark of the 1Utama mall here.
On October 3, the Petaling Jaya district police said it does not support the Bavarian Festival as there was security intelligence which showed the event would attract militant attacks and disrupt public peace.
At the same press conference today, DAP’s Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San said he felt it should not be a problem to grant approval for the Bavarian Festival, pointing out that the police were able to launch pre-emptive strikes to nab suspects and foil a terrorist attack on the recent SEA Games.
Lau also highlighted that the Bavarian Festival or Oktoberfest as it was previously known had been held in Petaling Jaya for the last 13 years without threatening public peace.