Bersih to cops: Name route, we will follow

Joseph Sipalan | Jun 30, 11

Despite the string of arrests and dire warnings from the police, the Bersih 2.0 committee today sought to make peace with the men in blue and asked for their help to make their July 9 rally a peaceful event.

Bersih 2.0 chief S Ambiga said they had a “very friendly” half-hour meeting with inspector-general of police Ismail Omar, where the latter expressed his concerns over public safety if the rally were to go on as planned.

“We told him that we will do everything we can to make sure it is peaceful…

“That is why we suggested that the police decide on the route we should take and we will follow their directions,” she told journalists at the Bukit Aman police headquarters after the meeting Ismail.

Ambiga, who was accompanied by Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah during the meeting, said the IGP was silent on their suggestion, but remains cautiously optimistic.

She said they urged Ismail to consider their proposal, and also asked for a second meeting with the top cop next week to follow up on their request.

“He didn’t say no, and I think I’m free to call and make an arrangement to meet with the IGP next week.

“We made the suggestion and asked them, the police to consider it.

“We have asked them, the police… You choose, from one point in KL to Taman Jaya or whatever. You choose, we will follow.”

Ambiga, who has since received a death threat and been questioned by the police on possible sedition in relation to Bersih, noted that their discussion with Ismail did not touch on the recent police crackdown on the upcoming rally.

She pointed out that the meeting focussed on the event proper, and she repeatedly stressed that they gave their guarantee that they will keep their rally peaceful.

‘We are clear on the law’

Ambiga said she also stated clearly to Ismail that they are very clear on the legal basis of their rally, stating that it is well within Malaysians” rights to participate in a peaceful gathering and that they are not doing anything illegal.

She also handed over a copy of the International human rights manual for lawyers, detailing the Freedom of Assemby and Association under the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 11), stressing that the police are duty-bound to protect peaceful rallies, while also taking action against those who plan otherwise.

Ambiga added that as members of the UN Human Rights Council, Malaysia and its police force only stands to lose credibility internationally, especially if the police continues to engage in actions such as the recent crackdown on Bersih activists.

“Our discussion focussed on the basic rights (to) freedom of assembly. What is the meaning of this right if every time someone wants to have an assembly like this, police immediately say no.”

Ambiga, meanwhile, denied that the rally is an opposition movement aimed at toppling the ruling government.

Claiming she has no idea who was behind a batch of alleged Bersih 2.0 car stickers which state that the march will topple the government, she stressed that “there are many out there” seeking to take advantage of the rally.

“It doesn’t matter who is the government. What matters is that the government wins through free and fair elections, and this is good not only for Malaysians but also the government.

“Don’t take those car stickers, even if they are given out free. This is the work of some very naughty people,” she said.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 6:57 pm

    Ya, polis define d route, line both sides with mata-mata n protect rakyat who take part in d peaceful rally (macam a slow big walk mah), n everything will b over in a short time
    Like peaceful marches in many other cities (London, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila)
    Actually, also in KL during Merdeka d Hari Raya Haji, no problemo, every1 happy 1

    No need 2 confront n make a mountain out of a molehill
    Just treat it as a big social walking event on 9.7.11
    Just look out 4 agents provocateur out 2 create troubles n put d blame on Bersih

  2. #2 by Joshua on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 8:59 pm

    “Claiming she has no idea who was behind a batch of alleged Bersih 2.0 car stickers which state that the march will topple the government, she stressed that “there are many out there” seeking to take advantage of the rally.”

    Manipulation and confusion already started by unseen hands.

    More trouble and chao would arise as the day of the rally is getting nearer..

    So RCI on EC would be the best option and an IGGG for the good of the nation..

  3. #3 by Cinapek on Thursday, 30 June 2011 - 9:54 pm

    If the PDRM, and by extension their UMNO/BN bosses are sincere to avoid trouble, they could easily have approved the march for July 9th. Then when Perkasa also apply for a permit to counter Bersih’s march, also give them a permit BUT on another day. And if UMNO Youth wants to march, also give them a permit either on the same day as Perkasa so they have a bigger turnout or another day UMNO Youth chooses. And if the silat group wants to march ask them to join Perkasa or UMNO Youth. Then everyone goes home happy. Except maybe UMNO/BN because the support for Bersih’s march will be so overwhelming it could affect BN’s GE results.

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