The police pledged today a crackdown on the ongoing candlelight vigils for Bersih 2.0’s Maria Chin Abdullah at Dataran Merdeka.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police are aware of the organisers behind the vigils, which have been held at the historic square in the capital city since Monday night after the activist was detained last Friday under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
He added that they should be ready for the police to swoop down on them for allegedly breaking public assembly laws.
“From now on, we will take stricter action against those breaking the laws on purpose, including those at night lighting up candles at Dataran Merdeka,” Khalid told the media here, referring to the vigil.
“Don’t think you don’t need to serve notice to light up candles. You are all breaching the Peaceful Assembly Act,” he added.
“Do not try to challenge us. When we take action, you would moan. But until when can we let people to break our laws?”
The IGP also vowed action against the Red Shirts movement, after leader Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos announced he will launch a campaign against the Pakatan government in Selangor that he will call “Bersih 7”.
‘“I have said before, we have been patient about these illegal assemblies from Bersih 1 to Bersih 4… When you hold protests, surely others would want to hold a counter-protest,” Khalid said.
The Kuala Lumpur mayor has closed Dataran Merdeka in the evenings for a week after candlelight vigils held for Maria’s release saw swelling numbers.
About 800 people turned up at the vigil in the historic square yesterday evening for the Bersih 2.0 chair’s release from detention without trial, up from about 300 on Monday.
The activist was arrested on November 18, the day before the Bersih 5 demonstration that saw more than 10,000 people hit the streets of the capital city, under Section 124C of the Penal Code that prohibits the attempt to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Civil society, the Malaysian Bar and opposition politicians have called for the release of the 60-year-old electoral reform activist, who can be detained under Sosma for up to 28 days without trial.
Source : ZURAIRI AR@The Malay Mail Online