KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — The Bersih 4 rally is proof that such a large gathering can be peaceful, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said last night.
The scuffles in the past, she said, was brought on by the police and that she was glad they now understood their roles and responsibilities.
“This is what we want. Because all rallies organised by Bersih have been peaceful,” she told reporters at the end of the rally last night.
“The only people who brought the violence [in the past] is (sic) really the police themselves; who spray us with tear gas, and also chemical laced water.
“So if they do not do that, they do not waste our taxpayers’ money, and actually help to facilitate, we would have very peaceful rallies,” Chin said.
She added that she was happy with the outcome of the rally, and hoped that the peaceful conclusion would repeat itself in future demonstrations.
“It actually shows that we are able to exert our constitutional right to assembly and that the police know their roles and responsibility now,” she said.
“And we hope that this will keep up in all future rallies. This is what we want.”
The 34-hour Bersih 4 rally began at 2pm on Saturday and ended at midnight last night with Chin crying out “Merdeka” onstage along with the tens of thousands in the crowd.
The rally which took place on the fringes of Dataran Merdeka, with attendees spending the night on the streets, was a call for clean elections and this time around, a call for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation.
It was the fourth Bersih demonstration in eight years.