Bersih 3.0 insists on Dataran Merdeka
The venue was selected because of its historical revelance to the people’s struggle for independence, says the electoral watchdog.KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 3.0 does not see a necessity to change the Dataran Merdeka venue for its sit-in gathering planned on April 28, despite Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s plea for the electoral watchdog to be “realistic” yesterday.
“We do not agree that there is a necessity to change the venue to other places,” Bersih 3.0 steering committee chairperson S Ambiga said in a statement today.
She said Dataran Merdeka was selected as the venue for Bersih 3.0 due to its historical relevance to the people’s struggle for independence and a democratic Malaysia.
“We certainly do not see any reason why Dataran Merdeka is unsuitable in the light of the many events that have recently been held there, including 205th anniversary of the Royal Malaysian Police [PDRM],” she added.
Ambiga also said the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) is not yet in force, adding that “Bersih 3.0 is of the view that the PAA violates the constitutional guarantee of freedom of assembly”.
She said the electoral watchdog will be writing to the police in due course “once plans are firmed up”.
“We sincerely hope that the police will assist in facilitating the traffic flow on April 28 for Bersih 3.0 as they have recently done so in several public gatherings.
Yesterday, Hishammuddin said the government does not regard the planned Bersih 3.0 rally as a security issue, adding that a gathering would be allowed if it does not break the laws.
However, he wanted the organisers to discuss with the police to determine an appropriate place so that there is a guarantee that the rally will not interfere with the daily lives of the public.
He urged the organisers to be “sincere” and “realistic” and be prepared to compromise on a location.
Later yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz called on the Bersih 3.0 organisers to get consent from the owners of Dataran Merdeka.