June 15, 2011
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
BERSIH 2.0: Home Minister says Police won’t take sides
by Joseph Sipalan@http://www.malaysiakini.com
The Police will take action against anyone found to flaunt the law and compromise national security during the planned BERSIH2.0 rally on July 9, said Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
Law and security will take priority, he said, and the Police will not differentiate between protesters who are for or against the rally. Hishammuddin, however, declined to confirm whether or not the Police will make a preemptive move to stop the rally from happening, saying only that it depends on the police’s assessment of the situation.
“If I add on (my comments on the issue), people will say there will be political interference…what I ordered the police to do is to see to this rally professionally and also in the context of national security,” he said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby today.
MP Zahrain Hashim’s motion on BERSIH2.0 rejected
The Dewan Rakyat today (June 15) rejected a motion brought to condemn the plan by election watchdog BERSIH2.0 to stage a protest on July 9 over its pursuit of so-called electoral reforms.
Deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar rejected the motion brought by Zahrain Hashim (Independent-Bayan Baru), saying the matter did not warrant urgency.
He said the Home Ministry, through the police, had taken the necessary precautionary measures to handle the protest and was monitoring activities which could threaten public order and national security.
Zahrain, when tabling the motion immediately after question time, asked the house to adopt a stand to strongly condemn the BERSIH2.0 move, especially in inciting the people to take to the streets like in several West Asian countries.
He also wanted the house to demand the cancellation of the BERSIH 2.0 plan to stage a protest, whether in Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere in the country, for the sake of the security of the people and nation.
Zahrain said the actions of BERSIH 2.0 in the past had proven that the group had a narrow political agenda and intended to confuse the people for political gain.
In 2007, BERSIH used the “Yellow Wave” slogan to organise an illegal rally to present a memorandum to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara for the same reason. That street demonstration undermined public order and led to traffic congestion at several locations in the city.