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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tell reds to pick other date for counter rally, Bersih urges cops



The police should ask the anti-Bersih group to hold its rally on a different date since the latter has admitted to being a counter-rally.
Bersih in a statement today pointed out it is the duty of the authorities to provide an alternative date, time and venue for the counter assembly as provided for under section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.
"The red-shirts led by (Sungai Besar Umno chief) Jamal Md Yunos has, from the beginning, identified themselves as a counter-rally, specifically to protest against Bersih.
"Bersih will give our full cooperation to the police this Saturday, Nov 19.
"We strongly urge the police to restrain from the use of tear gas or arrest any of our participants as we have complied with the law," said the Bersih steering committee in a statement.
Bersih will hold its fifth rally tomorrow at Dataran Merdeka to call for electoral and democratic reforms, and in particular, for the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak over the 1MDB scandal.
In response, Jamal has vowed to oppose Bersih 5 with his red-shirts group, which has been confronting Bersih's weekend nationwide convoys leading up to tomorrow's rally.
"With my release from remand, I am declaring 'peperangan secara habis-habisan' (all out war) against Bersih 5.
"My arrest does not weaken my resolve and I will henceforth mobilise the 'red machine' all over the country for war with Bersih 5," Jamal was reported saying when he was released from remand last month over a confrontation.
'Cop must do the necessary'
Bersih noted the court also cited section 18 in its decision yesterday to deny an injunction to stop the rally as further reason for the police to tell Jamal to reschedule his counter-rally.

“Section 18 of PAA operates as a safety valve to avert a clash of conflict. The power to do this lies with the police [...].
“I agree it is for the authorities who is allowed to regulate or place such restriction while at the same allow time for freedom of assembly (as enshrined under the Constitution),” Justice S Nantha Balan said in his decision.
Bersih said this warrants the police to "take the appropriate course of action" to facilitate tomorrow's rally in Kuala Lumpur.- Mkini

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