Police promise to do best to prevent Bersih, Red Shirts from meeting tomorrow

Bersih supporters pass a taxi decorated with Malaysian flags as they march towards Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2015. — Reuters pic
Bersih supporters pass a taxi decorated with Malaysian flags as they march towards Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — City police gave an assurance today that they will do their best to prevent clashes between participants of the Bersih 5 rally and members from the rival Red Shirts movement tomorrow.

“We are ensuring there are no clashes between the groups. We are doing our best to ensure they do not meet,” Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh told a news conference here this afternoon.

“If they meet there will be definitely be altercation and disputes because they have different ideologies,” he added.

Sungai Besar Umno division chief Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos who leads the Red Shirts movement has said his group will protest against Bersih 2.0 wherever the electoral reform watchdog holds its demonstration in the city tomorrow.

Bersih 2.0 which has not received permission to use Dataran Merdeka has said it will rally on the historic square’s borders.

Amar said he considers both rallies to be in breach of the Peaceful Assemblies Act 2012 as neither organiser has obtained permission to use the rally venues from the landlords, which is the City Hall (DBKL).

“So I advise people not to take part in any of these rallies,” he said.

However, Amar did not provide details as to how the police will prevent clashes during tomorrow’s rally.

He also said the police have information that two other groups known as the “White Shirts” and the “Black Shirts” may be also rallying in the city tomorrow, adding that neither have sought permission to assemble.

“They are from various organisations. We just know through social media that there might be two other groups there,” he said, without disclosing if the police knew the identities of their leaders.

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