Former Bersih 2.0 chair criticises police over KL lockdown ahead of #TangkapAzamBaki rally

Maria Chin Abdullah wants the authorities to allow the #TangkapAzamBaki rally to proceed. — File picture by Choo Choy May
Maria Chin Abdullah wants the authorities to allow the #TangkapAzamBaki rally to proceed. — File picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — Bersih 2.0 former chairman Maria Chin Abdullah urged authorities today to allow the #TangkapAzamBaki rally tomorrow to proceed peacefully.

The Petaling Jaya MP said the government and police must learn from Bersih 2.0 and other peaceful gatherings, and not bring the city to prevent Malaysians from exercising their right to free expression and assembly.

“The nation has learnt that repression will not kill the will of the people as they have every right to express their discontent

“If it is the Covid-19 that the authorities are afraid of, then they could help facilitate the protest as that’s their role and not be the stumbling blocks,” said Maria.

Maria was responding to police announcing road diversions on six major roads in the city from tomorrow morning and warning Malaysians not to join the rallies.

She said Malaysians were seeking to highlight matters of national interest and demand answers from the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Securities Commission.

“I strongly urge the authorities that claims to support reforms to allow the people to gather.

“Don’t have knee jerk reactions to peaceful initiatives. Facilitate, as you have more than a thousand police personnel,” she said

The group behind the movement — Catch Azam Baki — had among others demanded that immediate action be taken against MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and for reforms at the MACC, such as putting it under Parliament.

The group said its demands were justified as formal investigations into the matter, including a parliamentary select committee hearing, appeared to be making no progress.

Those unable to join the protest could fly a black flag and use the hashtag #TangkapAzamBaki and #RombakSPRM on social media to indicate their support, the group said.

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