Deputy home minister warns of ‘anarchists’ stirring trouble in Bersih 4

Youth protesters bearing the Antifa Malaysia anarchist group’s flag was involved in a scuffle during last year’s May Day rally. — File pic
Youth protesters bearing the Antifa Malaysia anarchist group’s flag was involved in a scuffle during last year’s May Day rally. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed warned the public today of a purported “anarchist” group, whom he said might provoke the police into using force against participants of the Bersih 4 rally this weekend.

The deputy home minister also complained that the mass gatherings held in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu will cost Putrajaya millions of ringgit in order to mobilise 4,000 police officers to monitor Bersih 4 participants.

“The act of provocation is to cause police to be blamed for using force against the illegal rally’s participants, at once elevating public hatred towards the authorities and the government,” Nur Jazlan said in a statement.

In the May Day rally last year, several youth protesters bearing the Antifa Malaysia anarchist group’s flag was involved in a scuffle with PAS volunteers after the former tried to invade Dataran Merdeka which was cordoned off to the public.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi later blamed fiery speeches by PKR leaders to prompt a purported “anarchist group” to hurl smoke bombs and disrupt the otherwise peaceful protest against the Goods and Services Tax.

Nur Jazlan also mocked participants for allegedly being made “political tools” by the opposition to supposedly “topple” Putrajaya.

“I see similarities with the Bersih rally in 2012, where the involvement of opposition political parties ruined the goal of peaceful assembly when unrest happened,” said the Pulai MP.

“Actually, what was said by the illegal gathering’s organisers as the right to assemble and having noble intentions were total lies because it was proven that opposition politicians were behind it.”

On Tuesday, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Noor Rashid Ibrahim denied taser-like stun guns will be used against potential lawbreakers at this weekend’s Bersih 4 rally, but admitted that the authorities are already equipped and trained to use such a weapon.

Noor Rashid was quoted by Chinese vernacular paper Oriental Daily on Monday as saying the police might use tasers to neutralise participants at the Bersih 4 rally if the situation warranted it.

Bersih 2.0’s latest rally dubbed “Bersih 4” will go on this weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching in Sarawak, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, and several other cities across the globe.

The five demands of the rally are clean elections; clean government; right to dissent; strengthening parliamentary democracy and saving the economy.