The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and Malaysian armed forces pulled out of the Selangor National Day procession last night, allegedly because PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim was given a slot to speak.

NONEAccording to senior Selangor executive councilor Teresa Kok, state secretary Khusrin Munawi informed the council of PDRM's withdrawal last Wednesday during its weekly meeting.

However, she said, the army's withdrawal was made known to the state during the Selangor Economic Action Council meeting on Friday morning.

"Their excuse was that there will be a political speech.

According to the state secretary, they would have participated if only the Menteri Besar spoke," she said when met on the sidelines of the procession at Shah Alam.

"The Pakatan Rakyat secretariat had initially proposed that leaders from each party speak, but we rejected that. Only Anwar was allowed to address the crowd in his capacity as Selangor economic advisor," Kok said.

NONEKok (right), who is also Selangor DAP chief, said the decision by the bodies to withdraw was disappointing as the event was a state event.

"As state officers, they should adhere to what the state has decided. This is an independence day celebration, so speeches would be about independence.

"Are they saying that (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak)'s speech in Bukit Jalil will not be political?" she asked.

Anwar blames ministers

Meanwhile, speaking to Malaysiakini later, Anwar said that the withdrawal was likely upon instructions by "their minister".

"It's fine. The celebration was great. The police had given cooperation, it's just that the minister had instructed them (to not participate). They should have but it's fine," he said.

The minister in charge of the police is Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein while the Defence Minister is Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Both are Umno vice-presidents.

NONEThe Selangor level National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations at Dataran Kemerdekaan yesterday attracted about 2,000 people.

The celebrations saw fireworks, performances by pop singers and a procession involving 53 contingents, including local councils.

The federal level procession took place at Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur this morning. The celebrations will continue at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium starting from 3pm until midnight.

The prime ministeris expected to address the crowd at Bukit Jalil at 9pm.