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RM1.8m to quell Bersih 3.0 rally

 | June 11, 2012

The Home Ministry also said that the police fired 967 tear gas canisters at the protesters on April 28.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government spent RM1.8 million to counter the Bersih 3.0 rally in April, which saw tens of thousands of Malaysians assemble in the nation’s capital for free and fair elections.

The Home Ministry revealed the amount of expenses it incurred in a written reply to a question posed by Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan in parliament today.

However, the ministry failed to provide a detailed breakdown on how the funds were spent.

On April 28, some 80,000 people reportedly marched towards Dataran Merdeka, calling for free and fair election and demanded the resignation of the Election Commission’s board.

However, the peaceful rally turned violent when participants and journalists were assaulted by the police after some protesters breached a police barricade near Dataran Merdeka.

In its reply today, the ministry also said that the police fired a total of 967 tear gas canisters at the protesters on the day.

“The police fired 909 tear gas of the ‘shell tear smoke’ type and the rest were the ‘grenade tear smoke’ type,” said the ministry.

On the number of policemen who breached the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in their conduct on the day, the ministry said: “So far, two officers have been charged at the court for assaulting a journalist.

“The independent panel mooted by the government will investigate incidents of violence in the rally. If any police officers were found to have breached the SOP, the government will not hesitate to take action on them.”

Last month, Lans Korporal Mohd Khairul Asri Mohd Sibri, 24, and Konstable Shahrul Niza Abd Jalil, 31, were charged under Section 352 of the Penal Code for using criminal force against Wong Onn Kin during the rally.

Wong is a photographer working with Chinese newspaper, Guang Ming Daily.

The government has since set up a six-men panel, headed by former IGP Hanif Omar, to probe the incident.

But two of its members, former chief justice of Borneo Steve Shim Lip Kiong and Petronas corporate affairs senior general manager Medan Abdullah have pulled out from the panel citing health and work issues respectively.

Also read:

KDN’s Bersih video release postponed, reasons unknown

Ambiga: No way Bersih will meet Hanif


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