Bersih 2.0 has demanded the police take stern and immediate action against all forms of criminal intimidation against its convoys making their way through the towns. “This has been witnessed by the police,” said the Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee in a statement.
“There’s dead silence from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Cabinet.”
The NGO strongly condemned all forms of violence, harassment, and provocation. “We will take all necessary legal action against the provocateurs,” it warned.
Delving into the details on its on-going campaign, it submitted all necessary notification to the police before the convoys took place. It had a good word for the police assisting the convoys, especially in Perlis, Kelantan, Kedah, Sarawak and Johor.In any case, the statement calls for everyone not be distracted by the provocations.
“We must not allow provocateurs to diminish the hard work by the local organizers and participants of the Bersih 5 Convoy,” said the NGO. “The national conversation on our Bersih 5 demands must be shared with locals in the towns that we will be visiting.”
“Let that be our focus.”
The second leg of the Bersih 5 Convoy will continue from 7 to 9 October 2016.
The statement urged all Malaysians to stand united and continue the “peaceful, non-violent momentum for a better Malaysia”.
Bersih 2.0 was expressing total disgust at the “gangsterism” displayed by Umno leaders and its Umno-friendly Red Shirts supporters.
The NGO alleged that on 1 October 2016, those against the Bersih 5 Convoys showed they had zero respect for democracy and had openly resorted to physical violence to curb free speech and assembly.
“What was even more deplorable was that Umno leaders and Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor did not attempt to calm the situation but instead continued to stoke the fire to intensify tension,” said Bersih 2.0.
Upholding the right to peaceful assembly has been the hallmark of Bersih’s activities, it said.
It alleged that there were several attempts to disrupt the convoys by groups led by Jamal Yunos (Sungai Besar Umno Division chief), Shahidan Kassim (Minister and MP) and Azhar Jamaluddin (Umno Assemblyman for Changkat Jong).
Briefly, the statement detailed various harassment faced by Bersih 2.0 supporters.
The Bersih 5 Convoy was successfully launched on 1 October 2016.
The launch took place simultaneously in six regions across Malaysia: Kangar (Perlis), Johor Bahru (Johor), Kota Bharu (Kelantan), Lumut (Perak), Sandakan (Sabah), and Miri (Sarawak).
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