Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hisham: Cops will act if Bersih rally at Dataran

Putrajaya has today showed the clearest sign yet that a crackdown on the Bersih 3.0 rally is imminent.

At a press conference today, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein the police would take necessary measures to prevent the rally should "stubborn" organisers proceed with their plans at Dataran Merdeka.

"We have already compromised and offered alternative venues to them... but if they choose to be stubborn, it will be up to the police (to take the necessary action," he said, according to Bernama.

He said it was the police's responsibility to ensure public order was not threatened by anyone.

"I hope the organisers can assemble at the alternative venues offered in the spirit of political transformation and changes brought about by the government.

"As such, all parties should contribute towards building a healthy and mature democracy in the country," he said.

Electoral reforms pressure group Bersih 2.0 has on April 4 had announced that it would hold the rally this Saturday.

The rally was in response to what it terms has the failure of the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms to properly address comprehensive reforms to the electoral system.

Hisham: There's still time to go elsewhere
Citing the newly passed Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, Bersih 2.0 said it wanted to hold the rally on Dataran Merdeka and informing the police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) of its plans would be a mere formality.

DBKL has since denied Bersih permission to use the field and instead offered the coalition to move the rally to Stadium Merdeka, about a kilometre away.

However, Bersih claimed that this offer came too late as they were only informed yesterday and the offer could have been considered if it came much earlier.
On what action the police should the rally go ahead at Dataran Merdeka, Hishammuddin: “It will depend on the actions of the organisers”.

He said the police have been instructed to prepare themselves and draw from past experiences.

Hishammuddin said that he hoped organisers will accept alternative venues that have been suggested, stressing that there was still time to do so.

Other than Stadium Merdeka, the other alternative venues that have been offered are Stadium Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium and Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium.

~ Malaysiakini

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