KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — An Umno federal lawmaker accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of planning bloodshed and death at the April 28 Bersih rally that descended into chaos when violence erupted between police and demonstrators calling for free and fair elections.
Sri Gading MP Datuk Mohamad Aziz said in Parliament today that the opposition leader had given orders for protestors to breach the barricade around Dataran Merdeka, which the court had barred the public from over the weekend, and then “left them to be victims.”
“Permatang Pauh wanted bloodshed and death. He gave the signal but then he ran. Those who were victims were being used by the opposition,” the Tabung Haji director said.
The fourth-term MP said this after Anwar asked whether the government “was letting the higher-ups go scot-free” and stopped at just charging two low-ranking police officers for brutality against protestors.
But Mohamad (picture) said it was Anwar who had caused the violence as police had allowed demonstrators to gather peacefully from the eve of the planned sit-in until the PKR de facto leader arrived at the historic square.
De facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz responded, saying the Attorney-General would charge the former deputy prime minister if there was “concrete evidence.”
Police have made public video recordings showing Anwar, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and the party’s Rembau chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin exchanging signals to each other just minutes before the barricade was breached by another PKR grassroots leader.
Although Anwar and Azmin have denied ordering protestors to enter Dataran Merdeka, insisting they were only discussing negotiations with police to allow protestors to enter the historic square.
The duo along with Badrul Hisham have since been charged with participating and organising an illegal street protest under the Peaceful Assembly Act after being accused by Barisan Nasional (BN) and even some Bersih supporters of endangering lives of rally-goers.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also accused Bersih of an attempted coup and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said there were elements in the rally which wanted death and bloodshed.
The government has set up a panel to investigate the April 28 violence, but the choice of former police chief Tun Hanif Omar has been widely criticised after he compared the movement to communism and accused the organisers of an attempted coup.
The April 28 rally that saw tens of thousands gather at six different locations before heading to Dataran Merdeka was peaceful until about 2.30pm when Bersih chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan asked the crowd to disperse.
But her announcement was not heard by most of the crowd who persisted to linger around the historic square which the court had already barred to the public over the weekend.
Just before 3pm, some protestors breached the barricade surrounding the landmark, leading police to disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons.
Police then continued to pursue rally-goers down several streets amid chaotic scenes which saw violence from both sides over the next four hours.
Several dozen demonstrators have claimed that they were assaulted by groups of over 10 policemen at a time and visual evidence appears to back their claim but police also point to violence from rally-goers who attacked a police car.
The police car then crashed into a building before some protestors flipped it on its side.