Bersih 4 Rally: All The Latest Updates And On-Ground Developments
Zahid says police action against #Bersih4 leaders and protesters for defying the law
Police are monitoring the leaders as well as all speeches made during the Bersih 4 rallies across the country, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic, below) said today. He added that action will be taken against the leaders over the previously-declared "illegal gathering".themalaysianinsider.com
"We also follow every word they say, We know the actions taken by them," he told a media conference after officially opening the Ipoh Timur Umno division meeting in Perak Umno building in Ipoh today.
He was asked to comment on action that could be taken against those involved. Zahid said among the legal action that could be taken against them are the Peaceful Assembly Act, the Sedition Act, the Penal Code and Police Act.
He said police could still take action after the rally under the Peaceful Assembly Act and other regulations.
"I agree with the Inspector-General of Police, 'berani buat, berani tanggung' (Malay proverb which translates to 'dare to face the consequence of his or her actions') "Don't accuse the police of 'cruelty' (kezaliman) for the action.
"This is not a warning and not just a promise, action must be taken," he told reporters after launching the Ipoh Timor Umno delegates meeting in Ipoh today.
He also reminded certain quarters not to make slanderous statements that certain public figures would join the rally. "Don't claim that a public figure will come even though he is actually overseas," he said.
Commenting on the presence of Mahathir Mohamad at the rally, Ahmad Zahid said the matter should not have become any issue as the former prime minister was only at the venue for merely six minutes.
Asked if action would also be taken against the thousands of rally-goers who disregarded police warning that the gathering was deemed illegal, the home minister said: "What is important is that I am empowering the police to take action.”themalaysianinsider.com
Earlier in his speech, division chief Datuk Azian Osman had call on Dr Ahmad Zahid to exercise his authority as Home Minister and arrest participants of the rally.
“Arrest them. It is an illegal assembly. Catch each and everyone of them,” Azian had said, adding that Umno too could mobilise people if it wanted to.
“I’m confident we can get 200,000 to the ground. We will get Pak Lah (Tun Ahmad Badawi),” he said in clear reference to Dr Mahathir’s appearance at the rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday night.
“It will be blue and red versus yellow,” added Azian.
Meanwhile, Sarawak and Sabah Bersih 4 rally ends prematurely
The loss of the public address system and the presence of "so many children" last night had forced the Bersih 4 rally in Kuching, Sarawak to end prematurely. Bersih's Kuching organising chair Nicholas Mujah said the decision to declare the rally cancelled was made at midnight. He had also made a public apology for the cancellation.
Mujah said the presence of children breached one of the conditions of the gathering and had placed organisers in danger of being hauled up by the police.
The Bersih 4 rally in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah ended its overnight protest at Likas Bay Park at 11.50am on Sunday.
The organisers agreed with the police to end the planned 6km walk into the city to lodge a protest to Kota Kinabalu City Hall for failing to grant the group permission to use the park for the rally.
The end of the democracy walk was declared after the police did not allow the group to go further into city centre. Organisers gave a final speech before 12pm, before asking participants to disperse.
Rallygoers commence Day 2 of Bersih 4 rally after spending a night in the streets of KL
Last night, about 5,000 to 7,000 rallygoers camped out under the stars with their fellow countrymen
Unlike previous Bersih rallies, #Bersih4 dominated by Chinese participants
Unlike previous rallies which witnessed a large Malay presence, the first few hours of Bersih 4, which is slated to go on until midnight tomorrow, has been dominated by Chinese participants.
The situation could be linked to PAS, which has decided not to participate in Bersih 4, which among others calls for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to step down. In the previous Bersih rallies, PAS mobilised tens of thousands from the grassroots level nationwide.
In a Facebook posting, activists Boon Kia Meng also noted the racial trend. He said Bersih 4 saw 10 percent of Malay participants and 90 percent of Chinese Malaysians on the city streets.
“Bersih 1 - Malay 80 percent and Chinese 20 percent, Bersih 2 - Malay 60 percent and Chinese 40 percent, Bersih 3 - Malay 50 percent and Chinese 50 percent. What happened?” he asked, according to Malaysiakini.
The lack of Malay participants this time around is also being highlighted in certain pro-Umno blogs such as MyKmu.net, which published an article titled 'Cina DAP Dominasi Himpunan Bersih 4' (DAP Chinese dominate Bersih 4).
A survey conducted by Merdeka Center found that 70 percent of about 600 Malay respondents were opposed to Bersih 4. In contrast, about 81 percent of about 310 Chinese respondents, and 51 percent of about 90 Indian respondents supported the protest.
Overall, 43 percent of the 1,010 respondents were in favour of the rally, and 47 percent were not in favour for Bersih 4. According to the independent pollster, among the chief concerns of those opposed to Bersih, especially the Malays, were fear of violence and chaos.
However, many Malay-Muslim Bersih 4 participants performed their Zohor prayers in front of the Sogo shopping centre
Malay-Muslim participants of the Bersih 4 rally today performed their zohor prayers in front of the Sogo shopping centre here in an apparent bid to disprove claims that the movement appealed only to non-Malays.
Initiating the move was PKR vice-president and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, who said the public prayers were important to “break” the attempt by political rivals to paint the Malays as uninterested in the demands by organisers Bersih 2.0 for political reform.
“The [Malay: non-Malay] ratio is likely 50-50, whereas the previous ones the ratio was maybe 70-30 or 60-40,” Rafizi told Malay Mail Online.
Under the scorching sun, about 100 Malay-Muslims clad in Bersih 4 yellow tees performed their prayers on a huge yellow Bersih banner spread on the pavement, right before the main entrance of the Sogo shopping centre. The prayers were accompanied by a silent show of respect by the Chinese and Indian protesters at the Bersih 4 rally.
Government identifying Malaysian protesters joining #Bersih4 abroad
The Foreign Ministry is to gather information on Malaysians participating in the Bersih 4 demonstrations abroad for eventual legal action against them, said Deputy Minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
He said the identity of these Malaysians would be handed over to the relevant authorities for action. They should not be exempted from legal action because their action could tarnish the image of the country at the international level, Reezal told reporters after opening the Rompin Umno Youth delegates meeting today.
"It is not that we do not have room for the people to express themselves. Malaysia is not a dictatorship," he said, adding that Malaysians abroad should safeguard the country's name and traditions.
Reezal Merican, who is an Umno Supreme Council member, said it was inappropriate for Malaysians to voice their dissatisfaction with the government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak overseas.
“I, too, sometimes, have critical views but I express them through the proper channel and abide by the law. Let's not damage the country and bring suffering to the people. Demonstrations in some countries can result in harsh penalties. Freedom of speech must not be seen as absolute freedom to say anything by anyway. Are we going to legalise everything in the name of freedom of speech or human rights?” he said.themalaymailonline.com
Reezal said the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur was also not fair to the traders in and visitors to the city, and allowed irresponsible people to tarnish the country's name. He also said that the demonstrators were not patriotic because they had chosen a date close to the National Day celebration.
"Why didn't they pick another date? We also have the Peaceful Assembly Act. If they really want to gather, there are several stadiums in states governed by the opposition. They should just gather there," he said.
Singapore warns against holding illegal #Bersih4 assembly
Singapore police have warned people not to organise or participate in any illegal assembly in the republic in support of the Bersih 4 rally in Malaysia.
In a statement, the force said it had been made aware of calls encouraging overseas Malaysians to organise and participate in events in Singapore in relation to the protests in Malaysia.
"The police would like to remind the public that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit in Singapore is illegal and constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act.
"Foreigners working or living here have to abide by our laws. They should not import issues from their own countries into Singapore which can disturb public order," the statement said.
Police said those who broke the law would be dealt with firmly, and this may include termination of visas or work passes where applicable. Bersih 4 protestors are gathering Saturday and Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
Bersih 4 kicks off with fiery speeches from organisers and opposition leaders
"We stand because we just want Malaysia to be clean," DAP's Lim Guan Eng said during his speech near Menara Maybank. "We must free Malaysia from abuse of power and poverty."
Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdulla later led the massive crowd for a rousing round of "Hidup rakyat!" and "Undur Najib!"
Preceding the speeches, the crowd gathered in front of Menara Maybank sang a passionate rendition of 'Negaraku'
Ironically, earlier today, PM Najib Razak declared that Bersih 4 organisers and participants as "shallow and poor in their patriotism and love for their motherland".
"We want to celebrate independence, there are some people who want to show their feelings at the historic place in Merdeka Square.
"Don't they understand, are they that shallow and poor in their patriotism and love for their motherland? Don't they understand the country was built on the blood and sweat of our freedom fighters?
"From the era of Mat Kilau, Tok Janggut and Umno freedom fighters to our soldiers and police, who died as martyrs, because we want to ensure the independence of our country," he said when officiating the Jerantut Umno delegates' meeting 2015 at Jerantut District Council Hall today.
Before this, rallygoers really pumped up the revelry as they wait for the rally to officially start
Pro-opposition groups took the opportunity to champion for the release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with giant banners and flags. Some activists were even going around collecting signatures for a petition.
It's still hours away before the Bersih 4 rally starts at 2pm, but participants have already begun streaming into the city.
In fact, hundreds of rally participants - most clad in yellow Bersih 4 tees despite it being declared illegal yesterday evening - are also gathered at the designated meeting points with their banners and placards
On-ground reports indicate that public transportation, including the LRTs and KTMs are still operating as per usual, with hundreds of rally participants already converging in several stations awaiting commute to the scene of the rally.
Some police officers have also been stationed within the city as well as at some of the stations, including KL Sentral and Masjid Jamek LRT station
Meanwhile, food stalls within the city are pretty packed with early birds who seek sustenance before joining the 34-hour rally
For those of you who are at the rally, do take note of the locations of available toilets for your convenience:
Additionally, do take note of the following emergency hotlines and medical stations in case of emergency:
In case of emergency, send an SMS to 011-1237 7118 or 013-203 6911 with the following information:
1. What happened?
2. Where did it happen? (specify landmarks)
3. Who is the contact person?
Medical tents are located at:
1. MEDIC 01 (Sogo Station) Dr. Munawar
2. MEDIC 02 (Dataran Maybank Station) Dr. Ng Swee Choon
3. MEDIC 03 (Pasar Seni Station) Dr. Ng Kwee Boon
4. MEDIC 04 (Masjid Negara Station) Dr. Chau
5. MEDIC 05 (Brickfields Station) Dr. Roland Victor
6. MEDICAL BASE (Dataran Merdeka Station) Mr. Tan Gengta
Casualty will be stabilised before patient is sent to the nearest hospital such as Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Tung Shin Hospital & HUKM.**
The organisers have also urged protesters to refrain from entering Dataran Merdeka and to stop wherever the barricades are to prevent the authorities from dispersing the rally
Concurrently, timezone differences are not stopping Global Bersih from joining in as several cities have already launched their respective gatherings, such as in Auckland, Wellington, Brisbane, Busan, and Manila
Keep up with the latest on-ground developments with the SAYS Bersih 4 Live Coverage
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