Planned Demonstration at Merdeka Square, Thursday, May 1, 2014

The U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has learned from local police and social media that a group of protestors are planning a demonstration related to domestic political issues.  The protest is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Merdeka Square.  The protestors may begin gathering at 10:00 a.m. in several locations around Kuala Lumpur and are expected to walk in large groups to Merdeka Square.  Possible assembly points include:  Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC), Padang Merbok (along Jalan Parliaman near Bukit Aman), Dataran Maybank (along Jalan Bangsar), National Mosque, and along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.  The number of planned demonstrators is not known, but may total several hundred.  It is not known how long the demonstrators will remain in each area.  A police presence is expected and traffic in the areas listed above will likely be disrupted.

U.S. citizens should avoid Merdeka Square and exercise caution when moving around in the above mentioned areas.  Local law prohibits non-Malaysians from participating in public protests.

The U.S. Embassy is not aware of specific threats to U.S. citizens in Malaysia at this time.  As a general precaution, the U.S. Embassy advises you to exercise caution and to be aware of your surroundings, particularly around large crowds or gatherings.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence with little or no warning.  You should avoid areas that may be targeted for demonstrations and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations or large gatherings.  You should monitor local media to keep updated with the latest information about demonstrations and areas to avoid.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the U.S. Embassy at (03) 2168-5000 or visit the U.S. Citizens Service website.  We will post the most updated information on the website.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Malaysia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the embassy or nearest consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Malaysia.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad.”

Contact the embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App from iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.