Bersih Sarawak has submitted an application to Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) for the use of Padang Merdeka as the venue for Bersih 5 rally scheduled for Nov 19.
Bersih (Sarawak) vice chairperson Ann Teo said the letter was handed over to representatives of Datuk Bandar (mayor) at their headquarters here yesterday.
“When we arrived we were asked to just submit it (letter) to the reception counter instead of the proper counter. Never mind that, at least they (DBKU) allowed us to submit our application,” she told reporters yesterday.
Teo hoped that the Datuk Bandar would give his cooperation ‘as this is a peaceful assembly’.
“We seek for his cooperation to grant us the use of the place as this is a peaceful rally and a platform for the people to congregate.
“Padang Merdeka is chosen because of its strategic location, accessible by the public as well as its historical significance; where our forefathers made the declaration upon the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
“It is also the symbol of unity of our people. We also want to show that Bersih 5 is a peaceful assembly,” she said, adding, that they expected around 5,000 people to attend.
Teo also condemned any form of provocation like what had happened in Peninsular Malaysia during the Bersih rally there lately.
“We must demand that the authorities are fair and take action against the provocateurs and those who threaten the safety of participants and members of the public.”
She added they would discuss among themselves their options if they were not allowed to use PadangMerdeka.
She said the submission of the letter went smoothly, but was rather amazed that three of their members were barred from entering the (DBKU) premises.
“I was the only one granted permission to enter and submit the letter at the reception counter.”
She said the DBKU headquarters was a public property and therefore anyone like them who were just normal citizens should be allowed to enter.
Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai is now overseas and refused to comment on the matter when contacted yesterday.
The Borneo Post Online