Threats from the pro-Umno Red Shirt movement will not stop the Bersih 5 rally planned for Nov 18 in Kuala Lumpur, said Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah today.
She said the locations for the rally would not be disclosed to the public until the right time.
“We will go through with the rally as planned and we will have our own security team. We also hope that we will get assistance from the police to maintain order during the rally,” she said today.
Red Shirt supporters have urged Bersih to call off the rally.
“The Red Shirt participants had been violent but their threats will not stop us. They had acted like gangsters and action should have been taken against them. As for our side, security measures had been taken,” she said.
Last week, the Red Shirts clashed with the Bersih convoys at a number of locations, including Teluk Intan where a fight was reported to have broken out between the rival supporters while thousands gathered at Gurney Drive as a sign of disapproval.
Bersih in their statement today, claimed that the clashes nearly killed their supporters and stressed that the body only wanted to promote peace, not to create riots.
Penang Umno Youth leader Rafizal Abdul Rahim has promised that the Red Shirts in Penang would not act violently unless provoked by the Bersih group.
“The Red Shirts’ objective is to stop the Bersih rally from taking place as it will disturb the peace in the country. Hence, don’t provoke us if you don’t want unwanted things to happen,” he warned.
Rafizal also said that the Bersih 5 convoy did not receive much support in Penang because of the corruption charges against Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
“Guan Eng’s reputation has been tarnished and he himself did not walk the talk. How are the people going to believe the demands made by Bersih if their counterpart is facing corruption charges?” he said.
Rafizal said the Red Shirts in Penang were ready to face the Yellow Shirts (Bersih group) if they still gathered without a police permit, because the Yellow Shirts were attacking their leader.
During the gathering at Gurney Drive last week, some 3,000 youths on motorcycles demanded Guan Eng’s resignation, as a counter to Bersih’s calls for Najib Razak to resign as prime minister.
Maria said earlier today that the Nov 19 rally would not be affected by Guan Eng’s case as she believed that “he is innocent until proven guilty by the court”.
FMT Reporters Online