Despite the warning by the Kuching North City Hall (DBKU), the Sarawak Bersih 5 organising committee said today it will go ahead with its demonstration at the amphitheatre at Jalan Budaya this Saturday.
Its chairman Ann Teo played down the safety hazards posed to demonstrators, saying the renovation highlighted by the mayor Datuk Abang Wahab Abang Julai only affected a small area of the amphitheatre compared to the useable space and the capacity it can accommodate.
“No, we don’t have a Plan B for the rally,” she also admitted to reporters here.
“We should, therefore, be allowed to use the bigger space to have our peaceful assembly,” she added.
She thanked the mayor for his concern, but urged DBKU to cordon off the area around the stage for the safety of the Bersih 5 rally participants.
According to Teo, DBKU did not specify that the amphitheatre was under renovation when it replied to the Bersih 5 organising committee’s application for the use of the public space.
“The reply, dated November 3, did not give any reason when it rejected our application,” she said, urging members to come to the amphitheatre to participate in the rally.
Teo said there would be plenty of parking spaces available at the nearby civic centre and at St Joseph’s Private School.
“Let us have a fun day this Saturday,” she said.
Simon Siah, who is also in charge of security, said the organising committee will deploy about 50 security personnel to take care of the participants’ safety.
He assured that the rally will be peaceful “in line with Sarawak’s tradition for the love of peace.”
He said the organising committee expects about 5,000 people to turn up at the amphitheatre.
Two days ago, Abang Wahab advised Bersih 5 to hold its rally at the State Indoor Stadium in Petrajaya since the amphitheatre was under renovation and was unsafe for the participants.
He said the renovation work started some weeks ago, long before DBKU received an application from the organisers to use the amphitheatre for their assembly.
The renovation work is expected to be completed either in January or February next year.
Source : The Malay Mail Online