KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 has urged Malaysians to turn out for the #Bersih 5 rally in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu on November 19, saying not protesting was no longer an option.
No permit for a peaceful rally is required under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012, Bersih said in a statement.
The statement also said that Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar’s claim that Bersih had not submitted notices for its convoys was false. It demanded that he withdraw his “baseless allegations”.
The NGO’s adherence to the PAA 2012 extends to all Bersih convoys running every weekend since October 1, 2012.
“Bersih submitted notices for each and every one and we have proof of our actions,” said the statement.
Likewise, it asserted that the electoral reform group fulfilled all the necessary requirements under the PAA 2012 to hold the rally in Kuala Lumpur on November 19.
Going into details, the NGO said it delivered the 10-day notice required under Section 9 of the PAA 2012 by hand on October 28 to the police headquarters in Bukit Aman.
It also sent the same notice to the district police headquarters in Dang Wangi and Brickfields and the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.
“The notice was to inform the authorities that the rally will be held on 19 November from 10am to 6pm,” said Bersih.
“We would like to stress that it was not (about) a permit or permission to hold the rally.”
Bersih has assured Kuala Lumpur Mayor Mohamad Amin Nordin Abd Aziz that it was complying with City Hall’s order.
It had no intention of entering Dataran Merdeka.
“We will, however, ‘stubbornly’ go on with our rally in the vicinity of the area,” said Bersih.
In the statement, Bersih reiterated its demands for clean elections, a clean government and strong parliamentary democracy. It added the people must also have the right to dissent, and Sabah and Sarawak should be empowered.
The NGO also pointed out the home ministry does not have the power to ban the rally as claimed by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“The ministry has no jurisdiction under the PAA 2012 or the Societies Act 1966 to do so. The ban would be unconstitutional.”
The issue of Bersih 2.0 not being registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) was already brought up in 2012, reminded the NGO, and was quashed by the High Court.