The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of the police in the lead up to the Himpunan May Day event in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The event has been planned since last year and is an avenue for Sabahans to express their grievances with the current state of affairs, in particular the tainted electoral roll plaguing the state.
The decision by the police to obtain a court order barring the general public, including 16 activists and politicians, from areas of Kota Kinabalu for an entire week demonstrates complete contempt for Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which enshrines the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
The authorities should learn from the Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0 rallies, where attempts to prevent people from attending these rallies failed and court orders to bar people from areas of Kuala Lumpur were overturned.
Bersih Sabah has been fully compliant with the Peaceful Assembly Act and has cooperated with the authorities. We call for the court order to be dropped and for the police to assist in ensuring a peaceful and safe gathering for all participants on Friday, 1 May.
We fully support Bersih Sabah and the other organising NGOs in their struggle to exercise their basic rights as Malaysian citizens.
Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0, which consists of:
Chairperson: Maria Chin Abdullah; Deputy Chairperson: Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan; Treasurer: Masjaliza Hamzah; national representatives: Assoc. Prof. Dr Abdul Halim bin Yusof, Farhana binti Abdul Halim, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and New Sin Yew; vice-chairpersons: Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula).