Bersih Declares Overnight Rally On Merdeka Eve To Demand Najib's Resignation

Citing recent political developments, Bersih 2.0 invites fellow Malaysians to march on the street of KL, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Cover image via Robin Wong

Rahman Dahlan threatens to dump rubbish in front of Bersih HQ if they hold another rally

"I am very sure the RM65,000 bill won't cause a dent to Bersih's massive and millions of funding and their continued refusal to pay only shows they have taken the donors for a ride.

"If Bersih refuses to pay, next time Bersih holds another illegal demonstration in Kuala Lumpur, perhaps I should dump the rubbish in front of their office," Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said in a statement.

In other news, Bersih has finally received the cleaning bill after the initial one was sent to the wrong address

The electoral watchdog dressed up the front gates of their headquarters to ensure that officials were able to find them in subsequent attempts to send the cleaning bill.

On 4 September, Rahman Dahlan tweeted a photo of the wrong "Bersih office" which he said was "locked and unattended"

4 SEPT: UMNO Youth Chief wants Malays to hold street demo to counter "Chinese" Bersih 4 rally

"We realise the relationship between races is eroding recently because of the attitude of the Chinese, who are communistic in their ideology, and have openly rejected Malays, bumiputera and Islam openly on social media using their language," said Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Rafii.

"This was why so many Chinese youths dared to demonstrate on the streets simply to ensure that the government will fall.

"If that is what they want, then perhaps it is time for Malays and bumiputera to hit the streets to demand back their rights on this soil," he added.

Meanwhile, 7 key individuals of Bersih 2.0 have had their statements recorded by the police at the Bukit Aman federal HQ this morning. They are being investigated under Sections 120, 124C and 141 of the Penal Code.

Section 120 of the Penal Code deals with the concealment of plans to commit an offence, while Section 141 criminalises unlawful assemblies.

However, the most serious offence cited against the seven falls under Section 124C, which deals with "attempt to commit activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy" and carries a penalty of up to 15 years of imprisonment upon conviction.

Apart from Maria, the others called for questioning are Bersih deputy chairperson Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan, treasurer Masjaliza Hamzah, steering committee members Farhana Abdul Halim and Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, and secretariat members Mandeep Singh and Adam Adli Abdul Halim.

Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah also remarked on Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan's RM65k cleaning bill threat, saying that it is ridiculous and will be challenged by Bersih. She also demanded to know if organisers of other rallies or events are being sent cleaning bills too.

"We have to wait until they give us the bill and then we will fight them in court. We will challenge it," she told reporters after being questioned by police over the rally.

"I would like to know in other events, do they do the same thing to other organisers? It is also DBKL's responsibility to clean up the streets anyway. How are you going to charge us for somebody sitting on the pavement? How are you going to prove it? These are ridiculous charges," she added.

2 SEPT: IGP: Tun M will be called up for questioning over his involvement with Bersih 4

“We will investigate everyone... including Tun Mahathir. We will call him for questioning. He had given a speech and made an accusation. We want to know from where did he get all this information. Among the accusations made were that UMNO division chiefs had been bribed. So we want more information on this,” Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters.

Khalid also said that Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali as well as other prominent leaders who attended the rally will be probed and investigated as well

"I have said before, 'berani buat, berani tanggung' (be responsible for your actions). They break the law at their pleasure. It is better not to have the law then," he said.

Besides probing speeches made during the rally, Khalid said police are also probing those who stepped on a photo of Najib and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. Those who brought effigies brought to the rally are also under investigation

1 SEPT: Police to investigate seven key individuals for their involvement in Bersih 4 rally

In a statement posted on its official Facebook page today (31 August), Bersih said that seven individuals - chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, Sarajun Hoda, Masjaliza Hamzah, Farhana Halim, Fadiah Nadwa, Mandeep Singh, and student activist Adam Adli - will be investigated by the police and are required to be present at Bukit Aman at 10.30am tomorrow.

Breaking News:Polis akan menyiasat 7 individu untuk Himpunan BERSIH 4.1) Maria Chin Abdullah 2) Sarajun Hoda 3)...

Posted by BERSIH 2.0 [OFFICIAL] on Monday, 31 August 2015

1 SEPT, 1.00PM: We will send a RM65,000 cleaning bill to Bersih, says Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan

Image via SAYS

"I advise Bersih chair Maria Chin Abdullah to not spend all of the RM1.5 million in Bersih 4.0 donation because we will send her the bill this week. This is not including the damages of public property by rally supporters. I leave it to City Hall to deal with that," the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister said.

Bersih raised more than RM2 million in donations and sales of T-shirts prior to the rally which attracted 100,000 people.

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) also plans to seek damages from Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah after they are done collecting evidence of any damage to public property due to the 2-day rally

The Malaysian Insider reports that Mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said Bersih 2.0 had been notified of this before the weekend rally in the capital took place. He said DBKL would not bear the cost to repair any damage to public property as a result of the tens of thousands taking part in the rally nor would DBKL foot the cleaning bill.

"We need to collect evidence before we seek damages from Maria Chin Abdullah (Bersih 2.0 chairperson). There were areas affected, namely in terms of garbage and landscaping plants.," he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

Bersih 4 organisers place the number of participants at about 500,000 throughout the 34-hour rally, saying that "the rakyat has overcome fear and intimidation" in calling for institutional reforms

"The total number of people who participated in Bersih 4, for the entire 34 hours, is estimated at 500,000," Bersih secretariat head Maria Chin Abdullah said at a press conference today.

“This is a loud and clear show of support for our demands," she added. “The rakyat has overcome fear and intimidation, and has proven that the call for institutional reform crosses all barriers.

29 AUG: Bersih 4 T-shirts are not illegal, says former Federal Court judge

Former Federal Court judge, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram

Image via The Malaysian Insider

Bersih 4's yellow T-shirt does not come within the definition of "publication" in the Printing Presses and Publications Act, and rally goers would not flout the law wearing it, a retired Federal Court judge said.

Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, however, said participants could flout the law for carrying rally materials like placards or pamphlets with Bersih 4 printed on them.

"Publication must be either in the form of print or electronic media in permanent or temporary form," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said that online news sites reporting on Bersih will not be blocked

Communications and Multimedia minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak

Image via Malaysia Today

"So the question of preventing media from doing their job should not arise," Salleh added, responding to a question on whether MCMC's move to block websites with information on Bersih 4 would amount to stopping their media from carrying out its duties.

Two websites have been blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) so far, namely the official Bersih 2.0 page and a website affiliated with Bersih 2.0, Global Bersih.

28 AUG: Home Ministry: It's now illegal to wear yellow Bersih 4 T-shirts

It is now illegal to wear a Bersih 4 T-shirt after the government this evening officially gazetted them as "undesirable" items in an executive order that was uploaded on the Attorney-General's Chamber's website this evening.

According to the order issued by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, any yellow clothing which carried the word 'Bersih 4' and any printed material and pamphlet which leads to Bersih 4 are now illegal.

The materials were included into a schedule of prohibited items.
Image via Malaysiakini

28 AUG, 7.00PM: MCMC blocks Bersih's official website just a day before the rally

Image via FinanceTwitter

After its warning yesterday, Bersih’s website has reportedly been blocked from Internet access. This was confirmed by Communication and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak who added that among the websites blocked were and

The MCMC in its statement yesterday stated that it would block any websitesor news portals found to be promoting, disseminating information and encouraging the public to participate in the illegal rally as such action could be detrimental to the country.

Salleh said the MCMC was in the midst of monitoring news portals to ensure that they would not commit the same offences.

"So far, no news portal was found to be promoting the rally, just more on reporting, so there was no violation of law...there's no reason for news portal operators to be worried," he said.

28 AUG, 12.30PM: Kit Siang says minister should ensure phone signals are not jammed during Bersih 4.0

Image via KL Coconuts

DAP Parliamentary Leader and Gelang Patah MP, Lim Kit Siang, warned Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak to ensure that there was no jamming of phone signals.

He should ensure that telecommunication providers expand their capacity by at least twenty-fold in anticipation of at least half-a-million people armed with cell phones for the Bersih 4 rallies.”

He was commenting on Salleh pledging that Putrajaya will not jam telecommunication towers during the Bersih 4 rallies as that would otherwise block communication among participants.

In the internet and information era, the people expect Salleh not only to ensure that cell phone signals during the Bersih 4 rallies are not jammed and rendered unserviceable, but for the telcos to greatly increase their capacities many fold, he reiterated.

Lim also expressed his shock that Armed Forces Chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin raised the possibility of his men intervening in the Bersih 4 rallies this weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching should Putrajaya declare a state of emergency.

It’s most shocking and irresponsible that Zulkifeli is talking about military intervention. The military wants to take over the role of the police which should be handling the Bersih 4 rallies.”

Armed Forces say they would intervene in Bersih 4 if government declares Emergency

Chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.

Image via The Star

The military will intervene in the Bersih 4 rally this weekend if the government declares a state of emergency, said Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.

"ATM will only intervene in the rally if the government declares a state of emergency. If the situation is categorised as a threat to public order, we will take over the role of the police in containing the situation," he was quoted as saying by The Star Online.

Zulkifeli also said that the armed forces had to take preventive measures if necessary as there were concerns that massive street rallies could "turn into state of emergency due to certain reasons". He cited the recent bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, as a situation in which there were "people who take advantage of the situation".

For now, Zulkifeli said the military will not be deployed for the planned rally on Aug 29 and 30 but pointed out that they were trained to deal with rallies that get out of hand.

"It doesn't mean we haven't been carrying out training with the police to maintain public order. "We need to ensure that we are always prepared, skilled and efficient in our duties should the government declare a state of emergency," he was quoted as saying.

The rally will run from 2pm this Saturday until midnight on Sunday. In Kuala Lumpur, it will be held on the streets around Dataran Merdeka. Protesters in Sabah and Sarawak will also gather in their state capitals, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching, respectively.

MCMC: Websites with Bersih 4 information will be blocked for "threatening national stability"

Announcement block websites with information on Bersih 4 on MCMC's Facebook Page

Image via The Malaysian Insider

Malaysia's Internet regulator has moved to block websites that promote and spread information about this weekend's Bersih 4 rally, as support for the 34-hour street gathering appears to grow.

A notice posted on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) Facebook page said the decision was made to block websites that "promote, spread information and encourage people to join the Bersih 4 demonstration", on grounds that this will "threaten national stability".

Just a few days ago, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said that MCMC has no plans to block websites or social media during Bersih 4 rally

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak

Image via The Rakyat Post

MCMC's announcement today follows the Home Ministry's declaration that Bersih 4 was "illegal" and its continuous labelling of the rally as an "illegal rally".

It said that based on the ministry's statement, Bersih was "tarnishing the country's image".

It also said that Bersih is spreading information and propaganda that is causing "anxiety" among the people and can pose a threat to public order, security, economic prosperity and sovereignty of the state.

"MCMC would like to remind the people to be careful in sharing any information in social media or websites, especially information that can contravene with Malaysia's laws," it said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan claims that "anarchists" are joining the Bersih rally in an attempt to attempt to provoke the police into using force against protesters

"The provocation will be so that police can be blamed when force is used on participants of the illegal rally so as to incite hatred on the authorities and government," he said in a statement today.

Nur Jazlan likened this to the Bersih 3.0 rally in 2012, where police responded with fury towards the end of the rally when some protesters, purportedly on the instructions of political leaders, breached the barricade at Dataran Merdeka.

"I see similarities with the Bersih rally in 2012 where the participation of opposition political parties ruined the rally's goal of a peaceful assembly after there were disturbances."

"What the illegal rally organisers claim to be freedom of assembly and noble intention are merely lies as it has been proven to have been perpetrated by the opposition," he said.

Nur Jazlan also urged the public not to participate in the protest.

"I hope the people will not be fooled into joining the Bersih 4 illegal rally as the likelihood of disturbances is high as we do not know the background of the participants who may comprise groups who are out to take advantage and create chaos."

27 AUG: Bersih to reorganise plans due to road closures for Merdeka Day preparations

Image via Bernama

Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah said the organisation would talk to the police on managing the rally.

“We have informed the police that the 34-hour rally will go on. We are also working with them as we are not sure which of the 18 points are off-limits and how they’re going to implement the road blocks,” she told reporters outside the Dang Wangi police district headquarters after meeting the OCPD Asst Comm Zainol Samah yesterday.

Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah also said that rally participants will not disrupt Merdeka Day preparations as they will only gather around the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka, not within

“This (Bersih 4) is the people’s way of celebrating National Day by calling for a change and for us to reform. We do not need permission to spend the night in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka, but we are cooperating with the police to ensure the rally is peaceful. We are not doing this because we want to be difficult, but we want to see change, accountability, integrity and transparency in this country. We will disperse peacefully on the eve of National Day,” she added.

Queried over the organiser’s promises that the rally would proceed peacefully, she said those attending the rally did not need violence.

“But if there are those who want to cause violence, we have told the police that they should be arrested,” she said, adding that everyone, including rally parti­cipants and the police, should take responsibility to make sure that the event remained peaceful.

26 AUG: "It's clear-cut. Bersih 4.0 rally is illegal," says ACP Zainol

Image via Malaysiakini

The police on Wednesday reiterated its stand that the Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30 is illegal and action will be taken against the organisers.

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainol Samah said after a meeting with Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah that the organisers have not adhered to existing laws requiring them to get the permission for the use of Dataran Merdeka.

Dang Wangi police chief ACP Zainol Samah said despite being told at a meeting that the rally was unlawful, the organiser was adamant on proceeding with their plan to assemble in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka.

"It was the second meeting with the organiser where we listened to them about their plan on the rally. We also told them why the rally is unlawful. We told them that it's an unlawful rally because the organiser failed to obtain permission as stipulated in Section 11 of Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and there simply cannot be two assemblies on the day at the same time," Zainol said in a press conference at the district police headquarters.

He advised members of the public not to attend the rally planned for this weekend. "It is clear cut. The rally is illegal," he said.

The ACP was, however, coy when asked whether arrests will be made soon to stop the rally from proceeding

"It all depends on the situation," he said. He also said that police will be monitoring the crowd at the rally.

Bersih 4 rally is going to be held for a total of 34 hours, beginning from 2pm this Saturday until the end of Sunday, which is the eve of Merdeka, to demand institutional reforms and also the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Several major roads will be closed in stages starting today for the National Day 2015 rehearsals and celebration at Dataran Merdeka. Kuala Lumpur traffic police chief ACP Mohd Nadzri Hussain said yesterday that the roads would be closed from 6am.

25 AUG: Bersih 4.0 deemed illegal by the Home Ministry

The planned Bersih 4 public gathering this weekend in the federal capital is deemed prohibited or illegal as the organisers have failed to meet a condition in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and apparently has caused uneasiness and worries among Malaysia's multi-racial citizens.

"The home ministry has investigated Bersih 4 and found that it is not a registered organisation. As such, the ministry is requesting the public not to attend the gathering on August 29 to 30 as it did not obtain the authorities' approval, and it is organised by the unregistered organisation," Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said today.

He added in a statement that Bersih 4 organisation had spread propaganda to incite people in a negative way towards the ruling government by spreading leaflets which can cause harm. They have also casted a negative image towards the country, adding that it could even threaten public order and safety, economic prosperity, national sovereignty and racial harmony.

Are the police really using tasers to stun rowdy and violent Bersih protesters?

On 24 August, deputy inspector-general of police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said protesters might be stunned with an electric charge if they riot, become violent or resist arrest.

"In any situation, the police will follow their standard operating procedure (SOP). If the situation needs to be controlled, police will use the tasers to stun the suspect, in line with their SOP," he said as reported by Oriental Daily.

Rashid said police have a small number of tasers at the moment and those authorised to use them have undergone professional training.

Police grade stun guns have a range of 35 feet. It fires two hooks, which then deliver severe jolts of electricity to temporarily incapacitate the target.

However, on 25 August, deputy IGP Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim disputed claims that the police will be using stun guns during the Bersih rally, explaining that they are actually part of the police force's future plans

Image via See Hua Online

"It has been proven by scientific and practical means that tasers can stun any mobs or criminals. In the future, we will be using more of such weapons," Noor Rashid said in a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur today.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has also advised undergrads to stay away from getting involved in the upcoming Bersih rally, saying that if they do so, they risk facing action from the country's laws

Idris said besides contravening the law, their participation in the Bersih gatherings would also smear the reputation of their higher learning institutions.

Don’t need (to participate)... this will not only inconvenience the public, but the traders too. Don’t listen to the allegations that our general elections are not clean. Actually, our elections never happened that way, and there had been Bersih (rallies) before,” he said after his visit to the Karangkraf Media Group’s complex in Shah Alam yesterday.

He also said that students found involved in the gatherings could face action under the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 or under tbe country's other existing laws.

Police have already advised the public not to take part in the Bersih 4 gatherings as they are deemed illegal for having not met the notice conditions of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2013.

Meanwhile, Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah confirmed that 3 Catholic churches in KL will provide refuge to rally participants should they need to

The churches are The Cathedral of St John in Bukit Nanas, Church of St Anthony in Jalan Pudu and Church of our Lady of Fatima in Brickfields.

18 AUG: Maria Chin announces Bersih 4.0 rally will go on despite DBKL's no-go signal

The Bersih 4.0 rally scheduled to take place between August 29-30 will go ahead as planned, said Bersih 2.0 Chairman Maria Chin Abdullah although Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has turned down its request to hold it at Dataran Merdeka.

Maria said a change of venue to either Titiwangsa, Merdeka Stadium or the National Stadium as suggested by DBKL was “not possible” as the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections, as organisers of the rally, had already announced the date and did not see any need to change it.

"What we want to emphasise is that before we even fixed the dates on August 29 and 30, we actually called up City Hall and they said there was no activity (to be held in Dataran Merdeka). But now they have decided to have activities,” she was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile KL Mayor Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz said, “I have already informed them (Bersib 2.0) that Dataran Merdeka will be used for preparations and rehearsals. As for Padang Merbok, it will be used by the armed forces as a logistics area to place their vehicles in view of the Merdeka Day parade.”

Given Maria’s refusal, he said the authorities would treat rally participants as “normal civilians” and cautioned, “They can go about it (the rally), but they cannot disturb other members of the public.”

500 DBKL personnel to assist cops for Bersih 4.0

Datuk Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz

Image via The Star

Some 500 Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) personnel will be deployed to control traffic and ensure public safety during the Bersih 4.0 rally, which will clash with the National Day celebration preparations.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said DBKL would assist the police in monitoring the situation especially on traffic, public safety and providing assets like road barriers.

Mhd Amin noted that DBKL had briefed the organisers not to use Dataran Merdeka and Padang Merbuk as rally locations and that had suggested the rally be held a week after the National Day celebration.

"However, during our meeting with the organisers this morning, they still insisted on holding the gathering on Aug 29 and 30...but it is understood that they will only gather at Dataran Merdeka," he said.

Mhd Amin added that the participants also were not allowed to disrupt the "Sehati Sejiwa" concert and build tents or any other structures at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, from Aug 28 to 30.

"If they were found intruding at the Dataran Merdeka area, DBKL and police will take stern action against them," he said.

17 AUG: IGP: Bersih 4.0 organisers are selfish and focused on toppling government

Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar

Image via Coffee Ticks

What is so bersih (clean) about Bersih 4.0?

These are the sentiments of the Inspector-General of Police who has deemed the organisers of Bersih 4.0 as selfish and fuelled by an agenda to topple the government. According to Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the name bersih was merely a rhetorical title, but in reality, the organisers did not dare to follow the rule of law.

"They ask to clean this, clean that, but they themselves do not want to follow the law. They do not care about the interests of others, they only want to protect their rights of freely gathering at Sogo and so on, without taking into account the rights of taxi drivers and traders. When they hold rallies, all the shops have to close."

“Political activities should be carried out in a gentlemanly manner, as there are seasons for it," Khalid said, referring to election season and the period after the process had been settled.

"I would like to send a reminder if this is their intention, the police will take preventive measures and I would like to remind Bersih organisers to be careful. If any individual or political party tries to topple the government without following the Constitution and the law, we will take action," he warned.

16 AUG: Anti-Bersih group protests to stop Bersih 4 rally

Image via Malaysiakini

About 100 people held a peaceful assembly organised by Gabungan NGO-NGO Malaysia (GNM) in front of a shopping complex in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman here today to call on police to stop Bersih 4.0 assembly scheduled to be held on Aug 29 and 30.

Its chairperson, Jamal Md Yunos said firm action should be taken as several previous Bersih assemblies affected the country's peace and jeopardized the image of the country in the eyes of foreign tourists.

"I am calling on police to take stern action against its organisers, especially its chairperson, Maria Chin Abdullah. I am calling on police to arrest and charge those involved as previous assemblies brought a host of problems," he said when speaking at the assembly in front of Sogo shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

14 AUG: No green-light for overnight rally yet as police refuse to acknowledge Bersih's application

Image via Astro Awani

“I had submitted a notice to the police today but Zainol refused to accept it until I complete the application by filling a few forms and documents for a ‘review’ to get permission,” Malaysiakini quoted Maria as telling journalists.

Under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, a rally organiser must notify the officer in charge of the police district where the rally will be held 10 days before it takes place. However the police’s request for more information is something new.

Chin also requested for police on duty to refrain from violence such as assaulting and using tear gas on participants like in the previous rallies. However, she noted that the police remain "non-committal" on the issue, preferring to comment on anti-government slogans instead.

"We said that police on duty should be in their uniform and wear a name tag and their staff numbers. We do not want violence," she said.

“They (the police) did not promise they would not use tear gas. Still I have raised the issue (tear gas). At least they (the police) know what they should not do,” she explained.

Police in turn told Maria that rally participants should not chant anti-government slogans, to which she replied that chanting was part and parcel of a rally.

“The police cannot stop it. We will be very disappointed if the police take action against the participants (for chanting),” she said.

13 AUG: Bersih 4.0 can go on, so long conditions are followed

Image via The Malay Mail

The Bersih 4.0 assembly expected to be held at several locations throughout the country on August 29 have been allowed to proceed so long as public order is not disrupted, said Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim.

Noor Rashid said the assembly must not violate provisions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.

Should it be found to be disrupting the community, traffic or inciting the people to topple the government, we will act,” he told reporters

Among the provisions of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 is that the organiser must give at least 10 days notice or face a fine of RM10,000 for failure to comply. Based on the act, assemblies are prohibited within 50 metres of places of worship, power stations, petrol stations, transport terminals, kindergartens and schools.

11 AUG: Bersih committee confirms Dataran Merdeka and 5 meeting points for overnight rally

“Members of the public are recommended to gather in five places before moving to Dataran Merdeka: Brickfields, Pasar Seni, Sogo, Masjid Negara and Dataran Maybank,” Maria Chin Abdullah, chair of the electoral watchdog said.

“The Bersih 4 steering committee has decided to camp overnight at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, to push for the improvement of institutions as per Bersih 4’s five demands, which are clean elections, a clean government, the right to protest, strengthening parliamentary democracy and saving Malaysia’s economy,” she added.

Its steering committee urged participants to bring amenities, such as sleeping bags, canvas sheets and portable tents, to spend the night there.

Members of the public are also invited to join the "Bersih 4 Challenge" to prepare for their participation in the rally

In the run-up to the rally, the Bersih steering committee urged members of the public to join its ‘Bersih 4 Challenge’, for participants to express their preparedness to join the Bersih 4 rally through photographs, including selfies, and challenge their friends to do the same.

The pro-electoral reform coalition also expressed its gratitude to independent initiatives by its supporters to promote the rally, including through posters, tying yellow pieces of cloth to fences and other objects, and calls to motorists to drive with their headlights on in daytime.

7 AUG: 34 locations across the globe to unite for Bersih 4.0

Tentative list of locations

Image via Global Bersih

On the 29th of July, Global Bersih, a Geneva-based international NGO network of Malaysian diaspora residing around the world, launched a global solidarity movement in support of the recently announced Bersih 4.0 rally in Malaysia.

Global Bersih stands by the principles of clean and fair procedures and process, and will respond to the recent developments by showing their presence across the globe on 29-30 August, and by demanding that the electoral process as well as the government, should be clean, fair and accountable.

Today, the group released an updated tentative list of cities where Malaysians overseas will be participating in and organising solidarity events in conjunction with the two-day rally in Kuala Lumpur.

If you are organising one in your city or want to get involved, do contact the group at [email protected] or send them PM on Facebook.
Image via Hornbill

31 JULY: Ambiga might be arrested for threatening to depose Najib

Image via Malaysiakini

The police are considering arresting prominent rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan for allegedly threatening to depose Datuk Seri Najib Razak and National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) chief for allegedly calling on the public to take to the streets to topple Najib.

“You cannot call for people to take the streets to oust the prime minister, that is wrong. We will not allow that,” Khalid said, adding that Ambiga will be investigated under Section 124 of the Penal Code which deals with the offence of undermining parliamentary democracy.

The country’s top cop noted that he had asked Ambiga to deny the claim after she allegedly made the statement on Twitter, and that “she did not deny” it. The police will also be calling in the reporter who quoted Ambiga for questioning, the IGP said. Contacted separately today, lawyer Latheefa Koya confirmed that the police will interview Ambiga at 3pm tomorrow at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters.

30 JULY: KL city police chief: Bersih 4 rally can proceed as long as laws are followed

“They can do it as long as it is done according to and with respect to the law. We don't have a problem,” city police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said.

The police will even help smoothen the process for participants if the group’s representatives go through the proper channels.

“In fact we can help facilitate the rally if they write a letter in. As I said, just do it properly,” the senior policeman said.

Meanwhile, PAS has expressed that they are open to participating in the Bersih 4 rally, just like they did in the previous three

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan

Image via The Malaysian Insider

"We are open, we can talk with anybody. However, we only know about the rally from media reports,” PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said yesterday.

Takiyuddin said this when asked whether PAS would take part the rally, just as the Islamic party had done in the previous three mammoth Bersih rallies. However, the party would first like to discuss the details of the event with the organiser.

29 JULY: The 4th Bersih rally is a go! Earlier today, Bersih 2.0 announced that the Bersih 4 overnight rally will be held on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, and Kota Kinabalu from 29 August, 2pm to 30 August.

The rally is expected to feature awareness campaign booths and lectures by prominent civil rights leaders.

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said that the rally will centre on calling for PM Najib Razak's resignation over his dismal handling of the 1MDB issue, as well as to demand for "institutional reforms to be implemented so as to end prime-ministerial corruption"

"All Malaysians are now paying a huge price for the RM42 billion scandal of 1MDB among other incidences of corruption, leakage and mismanagement."

“We invite all patriotic Malaysians to join the rally to demand for Najib to step down and institutional reforms to be implemented so as to end prime-ministerial corruption,” she said.

"By a series of political moves on July 27 and 28, Najib has virtually ruled out all possibilities for truth on the 1MDB scandal to be unearthed and for the criminals to be brought to justice. Najib is taking every possible move to protect corruption. He arrogantly ignores the humble wish of Malaysians for integrity and justice. He has lost every ounce of legitimacy to stay in office," said Bersih.

Chin also pointed out that the removal of Abdul Gani Patail as attorney-general (AG) as well as the removal of certain ministers and the election of four Public Account Committee (PAC) members in the cabinet reshuffle show signs of a 1MDB cover-up and hence, triggered the call for a rally

She said replacing Gani, while he was in the midst of probing 1MDB as a member of a special government task force, was "meant as a warning signal to the other three agencies" in the team. She added that Gani's removal was being rejected or questioned by many parties who had doubts over its constitutionality.

Another move to prevent the truth about 1MDB from being uncovered, Maria added, was the "co-optation" of four members of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by promoting them into the government administration.

"As PAC members cannot be holding executive positions, these appointments are Najib's unscrupulous plot to disable PAC, the only other public institution which is pursuing the 1MDB scandal with the support of the Auditor General's Office."

The coalition demands that the four following actions be carried out "restore public confidence" in 1MDB investigations:

1. Najib to make public his bank account details, in particular, clarify if the AmBank accounts existed in his name and, if so, show the transaction details for the dates in question.

2. Najib to take leave as the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and all other public offices he holds pending investigation.

3. Najib’s, his spouse’s and his children’s accounts to be frozen.

4. All findings of investigation by Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Police, and the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 1MDB and related companies to be made public in the fastest time possible.

Claiming that manipulate elections, power concentration at the Executive level, and repression of dissents are the cause of "corruption at the highest level in Malaysia", Bersih 2.0 also proposed 10 institutional reforms:

1. Electoral reform.
2. Making the Election Commission a constitutional party answerable to Parliament.
3. Barring Prime Minister from simultaneously holding the office of Finance Minister.
4. Parliamentary Reform.
5. Making MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) answerable to Parliament.
6. Separating Attorney General from the role of Public Prosecutor.
7. Freedom of Information laws at Federal and State levels.
8. Public declaration of Ministers and senior government servants’ assets.
9. Repeal of/Amendments to draconian laws.
10. Establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Chin added that no police permit will be required for the rally, but clarified that Bersih will have their own security arrangements in addition to informing the police about it

“We expect the law enforcement authorities to cooperate with us and provide necessary security protection,” she said, adding that the organisers did not want to see a repeat of the violence that happened during the Bersih 3 rally.

The cabinet reshuffle on 28 July saw Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin being dropped as deputy PM in favour of Dato' Seri Ahmad Zaidi:

If you didn't know much about our new DPM before this, here's a refresher course on what he's been up to in the past 2 years:

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