PETALING JAYA: The nation’s top cop was “talking nonsense” when he claimed Bersih 5 organisers deliberately broke the rules by refusing to apply for a permit to hold their rally in a bid to attract worldwide attention, Maria Chin Abdullah said.
“I think he said this without knowing that we submitted a notice today,” the electoral reform group’s chairperson told FMT, alluding to one of the stipulations under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
Maria revealed that the group sent a notice to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman and to the district police stations in Brickfields and Dang Wangi to inform the authorities about the Nov 19 rally.
The Brickfields police, she added, had already confirmed that they received the notice.
Earlier today Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that Bersih 2.0, the organisers of the Bersih 5 rally, deliberately broke the rules to show the world that the local authorities were supposedly restricting the rights of the people to free speech and assembly.
Khalid also suggested that the electoral watchdog wanted the police to deploy the Federal Reserve Unit and bring out the water cannons, adding that they “like it that way”. The IGP also urged them to abide by the rules.
Water cannons are generally used to disperse an aggressive crowd.
However Maria said Bersih participants were well behaved and urged Jamal Yunos, the leader of the Red Shirts movement to behave instead. Jamal has pledged to hold a counter rally on the same day.
She added that while Jamal had every right to hold a counter rally as stipulated under the Federal Constitution, the police should arrest him if he resorted to violence.
“Just don’t resort to violence. It is not the Malaysian way. If he (Jamal) does, I hope the police will nab him,” Maria said.
Earlier this month Red Shirts movement supporters were reported to have harassed and assaulted Bersih 2.0 supporters during a nationwide convoy organised by the latter.