KUALA LUMPUR: The Armed Forces (ATM) will intervene in the planned Bersih 4 rally only if the government declares a state of emergency, said its chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin (pic).
Speaking to reporters at the Defence Ministry on Thursday, Zulkifeli said the ATM has thus far not been involved in preventing the rally from continuing because the situation has not called for it yet.
"ATM will only intervene in the rally if the government declares a state of emergency.
"If the situation is categorised as a threat to public order, we will take over the role of the police in containing the situation," he explained on Thursday.
Zulkifeli clarified that even though ATM personnel have not been deployed to monitor the planned rally on Aug 29 and Aug 30, they have been conducting annual training sessions for the eventuality that a peaceful gathering may get out of hand.
"It doesn't mean we haven't been carrying out training with the police to to maintain public order.
"We need to ensure that we are always prepared, skilled and efficient in our duties should the government declare a state of emergency," he said.
Zulkifeli noted that it was important for ATM to take preventive measures as he is concerned that an incident similar to Aug 17's bombing of the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand might happen in the country.
"We worry if rallies like these turn into states of emergency due to certain reasons. What happened in the Thailand bombing- there are people who take advantage of the situation..This is what we worry about.
"There are many factors that could turn a rally, however peaceful, chaotic," said Zulkifeli.
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