Ban Bersih 5, Red Shirts from gathering to prevent bloodshed, Ikatan tells police

Ikatan urged the police to ban both the Bersih rally and Red Shirts counter-rally. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Ikatan urged the police to ban both the Bersih rally and Red Shirts counter-rally. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The police should immediately take action against the planned Bersih 5 demonstration and counter rallies by the Red Shirts to prevent possible violence and bloodshed, Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) said today.

Ikatan president Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said that there are concerns of such a possibility given the recent scuffle between Red Shirts leader Datuk Jamal Md Yunos and Bersih 2.0 and opposition supporters over the weekend.

“We plead to the police to ban the demonstrations of both parties immediately.

“From the news reports we have received, we are worried that there will be bloodshed and riots if both rallies are allowed,” he said in a statement.

Abdul Kadir said that the scuffle which left Jamal with a bloody nose will likely have angered the Red Shirts, who will do whatever necessary to stop the Bersih 5 demonstration from taking place.

“Let Bersih and the Red Shirts make a fresh application to carry out their demonstrations in a more safer and controlled environment- like in Padang Merbok or other places that will not endanger people or public property,” the former Umno minister added.

He claimed that in the past two Bersih rallies he took part, there were attempts by Bersih 2.0’s supporters to instigate the authorities and cause mass riots to garner international attention and publicity.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has said the police will act against anyone found breaking the law, whether they supporters of the polls reform group or the “Red Shirt” movement that has frequently clashed with the former.

Authorities maintain that the rallies will be unlawful as they allegedly did not meet legal requirements.

Last week, Khalid said Bersih 2.0 steering committee was yet to fulfill the preconditions from the authorities to hold a rally this Saturday.

Bersih 2.0 remains adamant that it has met all conditions Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 to hold the Bersih 5 rally on November 19.

It said that it had personally delivered the 10-day notice required under Section 9 of the law to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

Bersih 2.0 has also refuted the senior police officials’ statements that the group did not submit notices for their nationwide convoys, calling it untrue and baseless.

The Bersih 5 rally by the polls reform group seeks free and fair elections, a clean government and a stronger democracy.

The street demonstration is scheduled to take place at Dataran Merdeka, with two meeting points for protesters to gather at — Dataran Maybank and Masjid Negara — before heading to the historic square.

Last month, Jamal claimed that over 300,000 people have pledged to join the Red Shirts movement to rally against Bersih 2.0 supporters during their fifth mega rally planned on November 19.

The Sungai Besar Umno chief who leads the movement reportedly said that his supporters would be three times as large compared to the crowd that the polls watchdog group managed to pull in Bersih 4 rally last year.

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