KUALA LUMPUR - The planned Bersih 4.0 rally will proceed here on Aug 29 and 30 despite Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) allowing it to be held at Padang Merbok but a week after the Merdeka Day celebration.
Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said DBKL had rejected the application from the organisers Bersih 2.0 to hold the rally on the two days before National Day as Dataran Merdeka would be occupied by rehearsals and preparations for the Merdeka Day parade while Padang Merbok would be used by the Armed Forces as a logistics area for their vehicles for the parade.
He explained that Dataran Merdeka was to be used specifically for national and DBKL events, adding that approval for its use was under DBKL's jurisdiction.
After meeting with Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah yesterday, Amin Nordin said he had suggested that the rally be held a week after the Merdeka celebration, and DBKL would allow Padang Merbok as the venue.
"But the offer was turned down," he said.
However, Amin Nordin said there would be no problem for the rally participants to gather in the vicinity of Dataran Merdaka so long as they did not cause any disturbance.
"We'll treat them as other normal civilians. As long as they behave and do not disturb the public or damage street fittings, we can accept that," he said.
He added that some 500 enforcement officers would be on standby for both the Merdeka Day celebration as well as the planned rally.
Amin Nordin said Maria had also promised that participants would gather only in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka but would not enter it.
He also warned that a permit was needed from DBKL to set up temporary structures, including tents and sleeping bags.
"Action will be taken if such structures block pedestrian traffic," he said.
Meanwhile, Maria told reporters that they had been informed earlier that the dates fixed for the rallies were free of events at the intended venues.
Now, she said they were informed that there would also be a concert at the Sogo shopping mall, one of the meeting points for the rally participants, on Aug 29.
Maria said the organisers were also offered to move the rally to Stadium Merdeka, Stadium Titiwangsa and the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
"We will go ahead despite DBKL's suggestions and the participants will gather within the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka," she said.