Ambiga has said the Bersih 5.0 rally will proceed as planned and reiterated that under the PAA 2012, a permit to hold the rally is not required.
17 Nov 2016
High Court: Duty of police to prevent clash between Bersih 5, Red Shirts
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The High Court today pointed out that the police are legally-bound to ensure the Red Shirts movement holds its counter-rally at a different location to prevent clashes with Bersih 2.0 supporters this Saturday.
Justice Nanthan Balan in reading out his ruling rejecting an application for an injunction to prevent Bersih 5 and a counter-rally from taking place in the capital city said Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Act stated that the police must redirect any counter-rallies if they knew that clashes were imminent.
“Section 18 of the PAA acts as a safety valve to diffuse any potential conflict therefore it is the duty of the police to prevent a clash or conflict should there is a possibility that it would eventuate,” he told the High Court here.
KUALA LUMPUR: Bersih 2.0 has no right to request police intervention for this weekend’s rally given that it has already been declared an illegal assembly, says Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.
“Those people seeking police protection should first obey the laws,” Khalid told reporters at a press conference in Bukit Aman today.
Khalid dismissed former Bersih co-chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan’s call for the police to prevent the Red Shirts from holding simultaneous demonstrations with Bersih 5.0 rally participants this Saturday.
Ambiga had said the authorities can use Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 to separate the Bersih rally from the Red Shirts counter rally by providing the latter with an alternative date and venue.
“These people do know the laws,” he said sarcastically when quizzed on the matter by reporters.
Khalid repeated his mantra throughout the press conference that the two gatherings scheduled concurrently for this weekend are illegal and that police will take appropriate action.
Traders’ application for injunction on Nov 19 rallies dismissed
The Kuala Lumpur High Court today dismissed an application by three groups to stop the Bersih 5 rally and also the red-shirts counter-rally this Saturday.
Justice S Nantha Balan in his decision said the plaintiffs in the inter-parte injunction application did not show merits and hence dismissed the application.
Justice Nantha Balan, also cited Section 18 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, where authority is given to the police to divert any rival group to an alternative place, or venue or time or day.
“Section 18 of PAA operate as a safety valve to avert a clash of conflict. The power to do this lies with the police and not the traders,” he said.
“I agree it is for the authorities who is allowed to regulate or place such restriction while at the same allow time for freedom of assembly (as enshrined under the Constitution),” he said.
The argument was brought up by the traders that the two rival groups of the yellow and red may cause damage to their property.