Cops urge Bersih to cancel its rally

Zainol SamahKUALA LUMPUR: Police today advised electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 to cancel its upcoming rally on November 19, citing security reasons.

Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Zainol Samah said this was following information that the Red and Black Shirts are also planning to converge in the city on the same day.

“Where they hold it (the rally) is up to the organisers. We are advising them (to call off the rally) because the rally could disrupt public order.

“We have information that the Red and Black Shirts will also come out that day and Bersih is aware of this,” Zainol told reporters after meeting Bersih 2.0’s steering committee earlier this morning.

According to Zainol, while Bersih and the Red Shirts have put up notices on their planned gathering, the Black Shirts have yet to do so.

He advised the public not to participate in any of the rallies, stressing action will be taken against those who take part in street demonstrations.

Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, however, is undeterred by the police’s advice, saying the gathering would proceed as planned.

“We will not cancel or postpone the rally. Our demands are very clear,” she said.

Maria added that a thousand-strong volunteer security team will be assigned on that day to ensure the safety of the rally participants.

When asked about the possibility of facing police action for proceeding with the rally, Maria said the cops would only “have to do their duty”.