Maria: Police to receive Bersih 5 notice soon

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PETALING JAYA: The police will soon receive a notice from Bersih 2.0 on its upcoming rally on Nov 19, says the electoral watchdog chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.

She was responding to an earlier remark made by Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar, who said that the Bersih 5 rally is a no-go unless its organisers send a notice prior to their scheduled gathering.

Speaking at a press conference, Maria said contrary to Khalid’s statement, Bersih 2.0 had always submitted notices in all of its past rallies, including Bersih 2, Bersih 3, Bersih 4, but all were instead rejected by the police.

“We have always given notice, but they have always refused our notices. For Bersih 4, we submitted a letter to the IGP himself and he was the first we wrote to.

“Khalid directed us to the Dang Wangi police station and then he said we had not given notice.”

She explained that during that period, Bersih 2.0 had two meetings with the Dang Wangi police chief, but their notice was refused.

“And now, he (Khalid) is doing the same thing by saying we have not given notice. I think that is very unreasonable and irresponsible for an IGP”

Meanwhile, Maria said more details regarding Bersih 5 would be revealed at a press conference next week.

When asked about the venue, she casually answered “it will be in Dataran Merdeka”.

The electoral watchdog is seeking to raise RM500,000 in donations from the public to fund Bersih 5 activities and future rallies.

Maria said Bersih 2.0 would be needing RM1.5 million in total for its activities in 2017 and 2018, leading to the upcoming 14th General Election.

Earlier today, Khalid had said although public gatherings were allowed under the Peaceful Assembly Act, it was very important to notify the police of such gatherings.

He said that would prevent many unwanted incidents and clashes because the police would be mobilised to maintain peace and order.