Police thank participants for peaceful rally
by Kelimen Sawatan. Posted on April 30, 2012, Monday
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said no untoward incident occurred during the Bersih 3.0 rally which was held in the city here on Saturday.
He disclosed that although the participants, who included members of several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and opposition parties had gathered at an unapproved location, they had given their good cooperation during the gathering.
“It was different with the situation in Kuala Lumpur. The Bersih 3.0 rally here was held without any rioting and untoward incidents,” he said, adding that no arrest was made during the rally held at Padang Merdeka here.
He said this showed that the community, especially the participants of the rally, had complied with the instructions from the police.
“I want to thank those involved in the rally for giving good cooperation,” he said during a press conference at the district police station here yesterday.
Also present was city police chief ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria.
He said about 500 people gathered at the Padang Merdeka as early as 11am before dispersing about 4.30pm.
According to him, the Putatan mini stadium was offered as an alternative place for the organizers to hold the rally as Padang Merdeka was being used for the City Safe programme organized by City Hall the same day.
He said the participants, however, continued with their plan to use Padang Merdeka as the venue for the gathering.
Hamza denied that the City Safe programme was held to prevent participants of Bersih 3.0 from gathering at Padang Merdeka.
He said no gathering was organised at any other district in the state except in Tawau but it was also held in a good manner.
Meanwhile, Hamza said the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 came into operation on April 23, which allows any parties to organise and participate in assemblies but they must comply with the law.
On Saturday, Bersih 3.0 supporters had earlier gathered at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall and Asia City Complex as early as 9am.
The two groups, consisting of Bersih Sabah (Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections) and Anti-Lynas group Himpunan Hijau, then made their way to the courthouse before marching together to Padang Merdeka with banners and placards calling for a cleaner electoral process.
Also taking part in the rally were members and leaders from PAS, DAP and SAPP as well as representatives from several youth associations, student bodies and NGOs.