IGP says Bersih 5 OK, but no calls for PM to go

IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Bersih 2.0 may proceed with its proposed street demonstration if it abides by conditions stipulated in the Peaceful Assembly Act. File picture shows participants shouting slogans during a rally organised by Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic
IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Bersih 2.0 may proceed with its proposed street demonstration if it abides by conditions stipulated in the Peaceful Assembly Act. File picture shows participants shouting slogans during a rally organised by Bersih 2.0 near Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on August 30, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 may proceed with its proposed street demonstration if it abides by the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) and does not demand the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

The national police chief also gave the green light for the counter-rally proposed by Sungai Besar Umno leader Datuk Jamal Yunos, on the same condition that his “Red Shirts” movement stick to the PAA provisions.

“We will facilitate their requests if they follow the stipulations.

“We will not allow the proposed Bersih rally if it is aimed at demanding the prime minister to step down,” Khalid was quoted by news portal The Star Online as telling reporters at the police training centre here.

He noted that the electoral watchdog had previously said it would push again for the prime minister to step down from office.

He said the police only required those who wanted to hold public gatherings to “follow the procedure”.

Khalid expressed confidence that the police would be able to keep the peace even if the two opposing groups held their rallies in the city on the same day.

However, he asked the organisers to notify the police in advance so they could plan properly and avoid any clash.

Bersih 2.0 has indicated it may hold a fifth instalment of its street rallies, this time to protest against Malaysian government leaders over the US authorities’ move to seize over US$1 billion in assets allegedly obtained using stolen 1Malaysia Development Berhad funds.

Last Saturday, Jamal said his group would hold a 300,000-strong rally to oppose “damnable” individuals critical of the prime minister like Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah, lawyer and Human Rights Society of Malaysia president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.