Bersih submits notice to police one day before protest

KUALA LUMPUR: The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) has submitted an official notice to the police ahead of a planned gathering near Parliament today.

Its chairman Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz tweeted on X that the notice was handed over to Dang Wangi police here yesterday.

“The handover of notice is our response to a statement by city police chief Comm Datuk Allaudeen Abdul Majid regarding the issuing of a notice under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2021,” he said.

Muhammad Faisal also extended his gratitude to the police.

When contacted, Comm Allaudeen said the Act clearly provides that a five-day notice must be given with the supporting documents.

He also urged all to “adhere to the law”.

Bersih previously said it planned to hold a gathering at Tugu Negara on Feb 27 as part of its #Reformasi100peratus campaign to urge the government to deliver reform promises such as the separation of roles between the Attorney General and Public Prosecutor.

Bersih is also calling for a moratorium on the issuing of a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) for high-profile corruption cases.

On Sunday, Comm Allaudeen said the public should “not participate in any gathering that is against stipulated laws”, adding that strict action will be taken.

In a statement earlier yesterday, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) director Zaid Malek said that holding a peaceful assembly is legal regardless of notice.

“The concept of illegal assembly only existed under the repealed provisions on public assemblies in the Police Act 1967. The breach of any provision of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 does not render any rally unlawful.

“Hence, there is no basis for the police chief to warn the public against attending the rally,” he said.

Zaid added that it is “appalling” for a government led by Pakatan Harapan to clamp down on a Bersih gathering.

“Pakatan rode into power on the back of many successful Bersih mass rallies. Pakatan leaders also marched side by side with Bersih in the streets, when the then Barisan Nasional government had also declared Bersih rallies as illegal or ‘haram’.

“Now in power, the Pakatan-led government is doing the exact same thing,” he said.

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