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Friday, April 27, 2012

AdilanClub: KL mayor: Bersih 3.0 now a ‘security issue’

Sulaiman Kamal | 3:23 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Bersih’s insistence on holding its rally for electoral reforms at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow is now a “security issue”, Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail said today.

“Now it appears there is a confrontation between what they (Bersih) want and what is not permitted by law, between those who want to rally and outsiders who are opposed to it,” Ahmad Fuad told a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) headquarters here.

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“I can say that there is now an element of security,” he said.

Ahmad Fuad (picture) said this meant the police must intervene to help DBKL uphold the law.

“When there is a security issue it is under the jurisdiction of the police, and the police must assist DBKL,” he said, adding that he will meet Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Mohmad Salleh later this afternoon to discuss their “joint operation”.

Believing that the police “are always ready to assist”, Ahmad Fuad said the police “should know what needs to be done”.

“If the police provide us with large manpower, then perhaps we will not even require DBKL officers, but if the police tells us to handle it ourselves... then we will see how large the crowd is on that day,” he said.

He added that “if anything undesirable happens tomorrow, it will be Bersih’s responsibility”.

“They have clearly said that if Dataran Merdeka is not allowed as a venue for the rally, they would sit on the roads.

“If they sit on the road then it is no longer a peaceful rally, how can they guarantee that nothing unfortunate will happen?” he asked.

Ahmad Fuad also criticised Bersih’s rejection of Stadium Merdeka as an alternative venue on the grounds that there would be insufficient time to inform supporters.

“If they cannot even inform their supporters, how are they going to control the large crowd that they claim will come to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow?” he asked.

On Wednesday, DBKL threatened to forcefully bar demonstrators from using Dataran Merdeka for tomorrow’s sit-in protest for electoral reforms, with Ahmad Fuad dismissing the activists as unreasonable.

He also pointed out that he would hold Bersih responsible if chaos ensued tomorrow.

Previously, Bersih said it would consider calling off the rally if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could guarantee the electoral reform movement’s demands are met before the next federal polls.

The movement said early this month a third rally was necessary to warn Malaysians that the country is about to face its “dirtiest” polls to date.

The coalition said it was disappointed by the recently concluded Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms, saying that despite Putrajaya’s repeated assurances and promises, the panel had failed to introduce meaningful reforms to the election system.

The bipartisan panel was formed following the July 9, 2011 rally for free and fair elections that saw tens of thousands flood into the streets of the capital.

The Najib administration was widely condemned for a clampdown on the demonstration in which police fired water cannons and tear gas into crowds during chaotic scenes that resulted in over 1,500 arrested, scores injured and the death of an ex-soldier.

Bersih’s eight demands are: a clean electoral roll, reform to postal voting, the use of indelible ink, a minimum campaign period of 21 days, fair access to the media, the strengthening public institutions, a stop to corruption, and an end to dirty politics.




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