1. WHAT IS BERSIH AND WHAT DOES IT WANT?
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections or Bersih 2.0 is a coalition of several NGOs and civil society groups calling for electoral reform in Malaysia. It was initially made up of representatives from Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Women's Development Collective (WDC) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), and led by former Bar Council president Datuk S. Ambiga. It is now led by WDC's Maria Chin Abdullah.
Bersih 4.0 is the fourth rally to be organised by Bersih within a span of eight years. The first rally was held on Nov 10, 2007; the second 'Walk for Democracy' on July 9, 2011, and the third, dubbed the 'Sit In' rally, was held on April 28, 2012.
Bersih 4.0's five demands are:
- Free and fair elections
- A transparent government
- The right to demonstrate
- Strengthening the parliamentary democracy system
- Saving the national economy
2. WHEN AND WHERE IS BERSIH 4.0?
Bersih 4.0 is scheduled to take place from 2pm, Saturday Aug 29 until Sunday midnight Aug 30. It is scheduled to take place simultaneously in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
In Kuala Lumpur, five locations have been set as meeting points before marching towards Dataran Merdeka: Sogo KL, Pasar Seni, Dataran Maybank, Brickfields and Masjid Negara.
[FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES] Bersih 4.0
Unlike in KL, there won't be any marching in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Participants are expected to merely assemble and carry on with their activities at their respective locations.
In Kuching, the rally is scheduled to be held at Padang Merdeka while in Kota Kinabalu, at Tanjung Lipat.
3. WHAT THE AUTHORITIES SAY
Salleh calls MCMC to monitor social media websites
Kuala Lumpur, Friday (28 August 2015): Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has reiterated his call for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to monitor all websites which carry news reports that could undermine security and public order.
"As I have said, MCMC will monitor all websites and will take action against those who break the law," he said in a statement to Bernama here, Thursday when asked to comment on a notice posted on the MCMC's Facebook that MCMC would block all websites that promote and spread information and encourage the public to attend the Bersih 4.0 rally.
MCMC's decision was made on the grounds that such a report could threaten national stability.
The organisers have not obtained permission
Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday (August 26, 2015): The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) insist on barring organisers of Bersih 4.0 from holding the rally at Dataran Merdeka or its surrounding area on 29 and 30 August.
Dang Wangi district police chief, ACP Zainol Samah said until now, the organisers have not obtained any permission from the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to hold the rally at the location.
"The rally is against the Peaceful Assembly Act 2010 (Act 736). PDRM prohibits Bersih from organising a rally at Dataran Merdeka as Merdeka Day celebration rehearsals will be held between August 26 and 31,” said Zainol.
He said Bersih 4.0 would be deemed illegal if the rally continues at the planned locations, without the prior approval of the relevant authorities.
Earlier, police said those who join the rally can face legal action under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
Police had asked organisers to hold the rally at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, saying the venue was more suitable. Organisers were also reminded to ensure the rally doesn't stray from its original objective.
KL City Hall had denied the organiser's application to use Dataran Merdeka and Padang Merbok because the venues are being prepped for Merdeka Day celebrations. City Hall had suggested for Bersih 4.0 to be held on the weekend after Merdeka Day.
Bersih 4 in Sarawak to hold assembly at Song Kheng Hai field
Kuching, Friday (August 28, 2015) - The Sarawak government gives the green light for Bersih 4.0 to hold its planned assembly at the Song Kheng Hai field, on condition that it is held smoothly and peacefully.
Kuching police issued a list of road closures in conjunction with Bersih 4.0.
Members of the public had earlier been advised to not partake in the rally at Padang Merdeka, as the state government and Kuching North City Hall had denied permission to use the venue, citing renovation works.
Road closures in conjunction with Bersih 4 in Kuching
Kuching, Friday (August 28, 2015): In conjunction with Op Aman 8 “Bersih 4.0” several roads heading towards Padang Merdeka, Kuching will be closed to the public, said ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad.
The Kuching District Police chief, in a statement said that the closures which will begin at 8am on August 29 and end at 12am on August 30, 2015 is to ensure public order.
The roads which will be closed are:
1. Jalan RTM/Jalan Satok traffic light
2. Jalan Reservior
3. Jalan Mcdougall
4. Jalan Wayang
5. Jalan Main Baazar
6. Jalan Market/Jalan Power
7. Jalan Masjid
KOTA KINABALU, Friday, August 28, 2015 - The police will take action against those who disregard the advice not to attend the outlawed Bersih 4.0 rally scheduled to be held at the Taman Awam Teluk Likas tomorrow.
Kota Kinabalu City police chief, ACP M. Chandra said there was a risk the rally might affect public safety in the event an untoward incident was provoked by rally participants.
Earlier, police said that the rally cannot be held at Tanjung Lipat, as the Kota Kinabalu City Hall had denied permission.
4. WHAT BERSIH 2.0 SAYS
MCMC's move sent the wrong signal to the Malaysian economy
Kuala Lumpur, Thursday (August 27, 2015): Bersih 2.0 officials have criticised plans by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block websites with information on Bersih 4 rally, calling it an act of "colonisation".
Bersih 2.0 resource person Dr Wong Chin Huat said MCMC's move was "like a colonising body to a colonised people" and sent the wrong signal to the Malaysian economy.
Participants warned against bringing weapon, smike bombs - Maria
Kuala Lumpur, Thursday (August 27, 2015): Bersih 4 organiser warned participants against bringing along weapons or smoke bombs.
Rally goers were also told to immediately report to the Bersih 2.0 safety teams or police on standby, in any case of provocation at the scene.
"Parents are not encouraged to bring along their underage children. If they insist, we hope the parents are responsible for their children's well-being and safety," said Maria who also denounce the acts of vandalisme.
Finalise the location
Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday (26 August 2015): Bersih 4.0 organizers urged The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to finalize the decision on the location of the rally latest by Wednesday.
However, according to the organizers, the rally will still take place as planned, despite failure to secure the proper permissions to date.
'We will not disturb because we still respect Merdeka Day'
Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday (August 26, 2015): Bersih 4.0 will go on, with police facilitating the security and safety of the assembly this weekend, says Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah.
She said the police have been informed that the rally will still go on for 34 hours.
"Hopefully police will give us permission and assist us. There will be some road blocks due to preparation for Merdeka Day. We are working out with police in terms of the details," Chin told reporters after her meeting at Dang Wangi Police Headquarters.
She also said there was a confusion over the venue as the police were concern if the rally would take place inside Dataran Merdeka.
“We know for Merdeka celebrations the preparation is going on. We will not disturb it because we still respect Merdeka Day," she said.
She said security-wise, Bersih 2.0 has organised its own security force of 2,000 people for crowd and traffic control. There are also 200 volunteers stationed at different locations to ensure cleanliness.
Maria said people and traders in KL should carry out their activities and businesses as per normal.
She also warned troublemakers to stay away from the rally as the event is a peaceful one.
Kota Kinabalu: Bersih 4.0 organisers in Sabah say the rally will still take place as planned, despite failure to secure the proper permissions to date. In the meantime, they will try to negotiate with Kota Kinabalu City Hall and the police.
Kuching: Similarly, Bersih 4.0 organisers in Sarawak are also planning to appeal to the state government and Kuching North City Hall, for permission to hold the rally as planned.
[FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES] Bersih 4.0