KUALA LUMPUR – Supporters of the Bersih 4 rally proceeded to hold street demonstrations in the capital despite the police having deemed it illegal.
The protestors, the majority of whom were in yellow shirts and carrying Bersih 4 paraphernalia, began to assemble at five designated points – Sogo KL, Central Market, Menara Maybank, Brickfields and the National Mosque – as early as 11 am.
At 12.30 pm, some of the protestors marched to Dataran Merdeka immediately after the full dress rehearsal for the National Day celebration had ended.
The rally organiser had failed to obtain permission from City Hall to use Dataran Merdeka for the rally, seen by some quarters as a move to topple the democratically-elected government.
City Hall could not give permission as the square is reserved for the National Day celebration on Monday.
Some protestors sat on the multi-level seats specially erected opposite Dataran Merdeka for VIPs during the National Day parade, but were advised by the rally organiser to vacate the area.
Several among the protestors had brought along children in defiance of Section 20(1)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.
Bersih 4 is organised by the electoral reform group (Bersih 2.0) which claims it is fighting for clean and fair elections, a clean government, the right to demonstrate, strengthening parliamentary democracy and salvaging the economy.
The rally has been deemed illegal after the organiser failed to adhere to the provisions of the PAA.
The demonstration, planned for today and tomorrow, has caused unnecessary massive traffic congestion, especially on roads leading to the city centre.
The rally has been planned for Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
The rally in Kuching has been deemed legal after the authorities gave the organiser the green light following their adherence to the rules set by the authorities.
The timing of the Bersih 4 rally close to the National Day 2015 celebration on Monday is seen by many as inappropriate and disrespectful.
Last night, the government announced that it was illegal to wear today and tomorrow yellow clothing with “Bersih 4′ printed on it.
It also deemed illegal all printed material related to the rally. – BERNAMA