Sabah cops say will take action against Bersih rally participants

Sabah cops say will take action against Bersih rally participants
PHOTO: The Straits Times

KOTA KINABALU - Police have warned that they will be taking action against anyone participating in the Bersih 4 rally here on Sataurday.

Kota Kinabalu police chief Asst Comm M. Chandra said that the planned gathering by Sabah Bersih on the beach of the Likas Bay Park was against the law.

"We are asking and advising the public not to attend the gathering as police will be acting against anyone attending the gathering,'' he said in a statement as organisers announced plans to go ahead with the gathering.

He said police would take action under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for failing to give 10-day notice to the district police of the assembly which carries a maximum fine of RM10,000 (S$3,350).

Police would also act under Section 4(2) of the same Act for organising and participating in a street protest which carries a maximum fine of RM10,000.

Chandra said that other relevant laws would also be used against those involved.

He said such a gathering would cause traffic congestion and also create uneasiness among those using the public park's facilities.

"There is also a concern about security if the assembly gets out of control due to provocation by groups - whether from within or outside,'' he said.

Bersih Sabah spokesperson Jannie Lasimbang said they were going ahead with the overnight gathering at Likas Bay Park as they were not keen with the state government's offer for the use of Penampang Stadium.

"Holding Bersih 4 outside the city area will lose its impact to raise public awareness and to allow the rakyat to express their views to the government,'' she said, adding that state special tasks minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang statement was as an attempt to confuse and divert the preparations by Bersih Sabah.

"We appreciate the offer but we do not see why they must deny our rights to use the Likas park,'' she said in dismissing the offer of Penampang stadium as an "eleventh hour'' ploy.

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