KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 ― Poll reform watchdog Bersih 2.0 need fear no crackdown on its planned rally next month to demand Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation as prime minister as long as it follows all laws, city police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa has promised.
The police will even help smoothen the process for participants if the group’s representatives go through the proper channels, Tajudidin said.
“They can do it as long as it is done according to and with respect to the law. We don't have a problem,” he told Malay Mail Online when approached last night during the police Raya open house celebration in Sungai Besi.
“In fact we can help facilitate the rally if they write a letter in. As I said, just do it properly,” the senior policeman added.
On Wednesday, Bersih 2.0 vowed it would hold a fourth rally across three states from August 29 to 30 to pressure Najib to resign over his handling of his 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) brainchild, which has been touted as an economic transformer to help the country leap into the ranks of first world nations in by 2020 but which had since been hobbled with a mountain of debts crossing the multi-billion ringgit threshold.
“Bersih 2.0 hereby declares that the Bersih 4 rally will be held on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu from August 29, 2pm to August 30...we are overnight [sic],” its chairman Maria Chin Abdullah had told a news conference then.
“We invite all patriotic Malaysians to join the rally to demand for Najib to step down and institutional reforms to be implemented so as to end prime-ministerial corruption,” she added.
The exact locations for the August rally have yet to be announced.
The last Bersih rally three years ago ahead of the 13th general elections was estimated by its organisers to have drawn some 50,000 participants in the national capital though government estimates placed the figure far lower.
The April 28, 2012 rally was marred by violence with riot police firing water cannons and tear gas into crowds of largely peaceful demonstrators although there were reported outbreaks of vandalism and fights between pro-government and opposition camps in the city.