KUALA LUMPUR: No arrest was made on the first day of Bersih 4, which went on smoothly without any untoward incident.
While policemen were placed at strategic locations to oversee traffic flow and ensure public safety, their presence was minimal.
Police personnel stood at a distance, leaving the protesters to march and have their ceramah undisturbed.
This was in stark contrast to past Bersih rallies when water cannons and tear gas were used.
There were several minor tense moments, especially when one group of protesters tried to enter Dataran Merdeka, but things cooled down when volunteers managed to co-operate with the police in keeping them out.
City police chief Comm Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said the protesters co-operated with the police and were not involved in acts of violence or chaos.
“As I said before, our priority is ensuring public order and safety.
“We will only act if there are incidents that threaten public order.”
Police, he added, did not have to mobilise the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) or resort to water cannons and tear gas.
“We hope such a situation will continue on the second day as well. While the rally is illegal, the police are still committed to preserving public order,” he said.
Comm Tajuddin also dismissed rumours that people were injured or shot during the rally.
“We are satisfied with the conduct of the protesters. We advise the rally goers to follow this example on the second day,” he said.
PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli thanked the police for co-operating with the organisers and said they understood it was a peaceful protest.
Bukit Katil MP Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin also praised the police.