Citing fear of violence, Perkasa says not for or against Bersih 4

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said when it comes to the Bersih 4 rally, Perkas is on the fence due to the possibility of clashes. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said when it comes to the Bersih 4 rally, Perkas is on the fence due to the possibility of clashes. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Malay rights group Perkasa said today it is neither for nor against the Bersih 4 rally this weekend, although it believes that every Malaysian citizen has the constitutional right to assemble peacefully.

Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said, however, that the group fears the possibility of violent clashes during the gathering to demand reforms.

“Perkasa respects people’s rights to assemble under the Federal Constitution and Peaceful Assembly Act, but we are worried on the possible clashes and violence from the rally,” he said.

Ibrahim further said that if the police refuse to allow the gathering at Dataran Merdeka, any attempt to proceed with the event at the historic square would be deemed illegal.

It may also invite possible acts of provocation, he added.

“This is a dilemma for us as we really respect the right to assemble, but possible provocation worries us as well. So, we are not with it but we are not against it either,” he added.

City police have prohibited the overnight Bersih 4 rally scheduled on the streets of the capital city this weekend, claiming that the organisers have failed to issue a “complete notice” of the rally to the police as required under the PAA, according to local daily The Star.

The Star also reported Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru as saying that police permits are not required for an assembly under the PAA.

The Bersih 4 rally, which will be held in the capital city, Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, aims to press for institutional reforms and for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation over his handling of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy. 

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