Malaysia

IGP says cops to arrest those with pro-Bersih ‘shoes, cars, buses’

The IGP revealed today that 101 people have been arrested over the last four days. — file picThe IGP revealed today that 101 people have been arrested over the last four days. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The police will not only arrest those sporting Bersih T-shirts but may also take action against anyone using any medium to promote the illegal rally, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has said.

“Not just T-shirts but shoes, cars, buses. If these are the tools used to encourage people to gather (illegally), this amounts to sedition,” Tan Sri Ismail Omar told reporters at Bukit Aman police headquarters here today.

Earlier today, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein declared T-shirts bearing messages in support of Bersih illegal as they were related to an illegal assembly.

He, however, did not specify the legal provision that the garments were deemed to have breached.

Ismail explained that it was the duty of the police as the “protectors of society” to safeguard public order and national security, which he said would be in jeopardy if the Bersih 2.0 rally were allowed to take place.

“Based on PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) intelligence ... if this rally is held, tension, chaos, the destruction of property, injury and even loss of life may occur,” he said.

“PDRM will not allow any individual or certain parties to do anything that could trigger chaos and anarchy.”

He added that the police have received information that foreign elements were poised to exploit the chaos that would “very likely” result from the rally but declined to reveal their identity or if they were working with opposition parties.

Ismail also warned Bersih organisers and supporters not to take advantage of his civil treatment of them so far to continue “inciting” the public to take part in the illegal rally.

“I am still being civil at this point but don’t force me to go to the next stage,” he said.

“Just watch ... There have been arrests but you will see further action if anyone still dares to break the law.”

Ismail revealed today that a total of 1,830 police reports were lodged between June 6 and June 28, while 101 people have been arrested over the last four days, 45 of whom are still in custody.

He said the police will take further action when necessary against those detained, in accordance with the procedures and laws of the nation.

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