Cops start probes into Bersih rally

PHOTO: Reuters

PORT KLANG - After a weekend of restraint during the Bersih 4 rally, the police were in an uncompromising mood yesterday as they commenced their investigations into the event.

Their probe is not only focused on the organisers but will see prominent figures who attended the rally, such as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, questioned.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Dr Mahathir would be summoned to give the police a statement over his presence at the rally.

Also on the list is Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali.

"Of course we are focusing on the organisers and other prominent figures now. But we will investigate all who were involved in the Bersih rally," he said after attending the 68th Marine Police Day celebration at the Marine Police jetty here.

Apart from their involvement, Khalid said the police also wanted to know more about the allegations they made at the rally.

"For example, Dr Mahathir has claimed that Umno division chiefs received bribes. So we want to know more about that, and from where he got the information.

"We hope he will co-operate with the police later," he said.

The IGP said the police had not determined which law would be used to investigate Dr Mahathir.

"We will call him in first and then decide which act to use," he said.

Dr Mahathir is currently in Jordan.

Khalid acknowledged and appreciated the praise Bersih 4 rally participants had given to the police for their restrained conduct but said the police would continue to do their jobs and carry on investigations.

"Thank you but the law is there and must be adhered to by all," he said, adding that the police were also probing the stomping of photos of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

"We have not identified the culprits and we hope those with information can come forward.

"We are also going after those who brought provocative props and effigies to the rally.

"Things like this can stir racial sentiments and it is very dangerous.

"They might think it was fun but it is not. This is clearly inciting ­others," he said.

Yesterday, Bersih 2.0 steering committee chairman Maria Chin Abdullah was among seven people who had their statements recorded at Bukit Aman.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Zainuddin Ahmad said at least 10 other people were expected to be called up for questioning.

He said the police had video evidence of rally participants allegedly committing multiple offences, including violating laws under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.

During the 34-hour rally, which started on Saturday, some rally participants were seen carrying provocative placards and a few brought children to the event, an offence under the PAA.

KL police had earlier warned people against joining the rally which they had deemed illegal.

Among the reasons for declaring the rally illegal was that no two assemblies could be held in the same vicinity at the same time. National Day rehearsals were held at Dataran Merdeka at that time.

In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah police are looking for 11 more participants and speakers of the Bersih 4 rally held in Tanjung Lipat in their investigations.

"So far, 10 people including organising spokesman Jannie Lasimbang, Sabah DAP chairman and Kota Kinabalu MP Jimmy Wong and Sandakan MP Wong Thien Fatt have been called in for questioning," deputy police chief Supt Mohd Azhar Hamin said in a statement.

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