The Bersih 5 organising committee is calling on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to help in obtaining permission to use the Amphitheatre for their assembly on Nov 19.
Speaking to reporters outside the Simpang Tiga police station yesterday, Bersih Sarawak vice chairperson Ann Teo said that Kuching City North Commission (DBKU) had rejected their request to use the Amphitheatre without furnishing reasons or suggesting an alternative.
“When informed that our request to use Padang Merdeka was rejected, we wrote to DBKU for the use of the Amphitheatre,” she said, adding that a Regatta would be held the same weekend at the Kuching Waterfront so they turned their eyes to a location a little further away from the activities but still fairly central.
Past records of Bersih rallies in Kuching have been peaceful. Bersih 3 in 2014 was a ‘sit-down protest’ at the Old Courthouse-Kuching Waterfront, Bersih 4 last year was held at Song Kheng Hai Recreational Grounds.
This leaves the organising committee wondering about this change of treatment by local council or custodians/caretakers of the venue.
“Sarawakians have shown that they are capable of rallying peacefully. Our own chief minister had during Bersih 4 last year approved the use of Song Kheng Hai Grounds as a venue and had instructed MBKS to grant
the use of the venue. He was also quoted as saying that his administration saw no problems with the rally taking place
and even gave the state civil servants the go-ahead to attend the rally.”
The organising committee has made preparations to keep the rally safe and peaceful with volunteers and marshal teams. They will also ask the police for help.
After the press conference, the organising committee also met with Kuching District police chief SAC Abang Ahmad Abang Julai.
In conjunction with Bersih 5 and in collaboration with Lawyer Kamek 4 Change, Bersih Sarawak will conduct a training called ‘Know Your Rights’ at Mastermind Training Centre in Jalan Green. Further information will be released soon on Bersih Sarawak website.
Source : The Borneo Post Online