PETALING JAYA: Gerakan Youth Chief Tan Keng Liang wishes Bersih 2.0 “all the best” should they hold their planned Bersih 5 demonstration in the streets again this year.
Tan’s response comes after the electoral reform group’s chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah, declined the offer of a stadium for participants of the planned Bersih 5 rally, saying that it defeated the spirit and purpose of a demonstration.
At a press conference earlier today, Chin said that a protest is “an expression of anger” and demonstrators should be able to do it anywhere.
She said requests to hold such events at a stadium were unreasonable.
However, Tan cautioned that there was still the risk that chaos would ensue should the protest be held in the streets again, as it has occurred in years past.
Tan pointed to the chaos that occurred during the Bersih rally in 2012, saying that the risk of damage to both public and private property remained.
“Is she (Chin) willing to be responsible for the risk?” Tan asked in response to FMT’s inquiries.
“There is always the risk. Yes, they may say that the rally last year was peaceful, but the risk remains. They had promised in 2012 to be peaceful, but look what happened.
“It’s up to the police now. If they can pull it off without causing any trouble, well, all the best. We have already offered our help as a friendly gesture.”
Activist Ivy Josiah had today also dismissed concerns of chaos during the protest, saying that last year’s Bersih 4 rally was a good example of a peaceful demonstration.
She also said there would most likely be no trouble with the police, saying that besides having announced their cooperation, the police had also become “mature” since the events of Bersih 4.
“They have seen our peaceful demonstration. So, I don’t think there will be trouble with the police.”
No date has been fixed for the Bersih 5 rally. On Aug 27, youths are planning a #TangkapMalaysianOfficial1 protest in the city centre.
Sungai Besar Umno Division Chief Jamal Yunos has said he would hold a Red Shirts rally simultaneously with the Bersih 5 gathering.