KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29, 2015:
Police tonight gave their strongest assurance that they will protect members of the public after threatening messages on social media that claimed Bersih 4 supporters in Kuala Lumpur may be attacked began making the rounds.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajuddin Mat Isa confirmed that they were carrying out investigations related to the threats that an “Ayahanda” group had intentions of disrupting the Bersih 4 rally taking place in the capital tonight.
When contacted, he said the threats had been identified after being spread through social media today.
“We are aware of the matter and are carrying out investigations.”
Although the rally has been labelled as “illegal” by the authorities, police have been stationed near the participants.
Police would continuously protect the safety of members of the public, Tajuddin said.
When asked to comment on the protest, he said that organisers had succeeded in maintaining the peace and cleanliness and shared his hope that such behaviour would continue as the rally heads into its second day tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Bersih 4 organisers have set up a mobile stage outside Dataran Merdeka which is expected to see not only a series of performances and speeches, but is also being used for karaoke.
The rally, which began about noon today, is to end at 11.59pm tomorrow (Sunday). Several thousand people were still gathered there at midnight.
Despite the authorities outlawing the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirts, people did not seem to heed the warnings.
Thousands of people turned up at the five locations listed to gather — Menara Maybank, Brickfields, Sogo, Masjid Negara and Central Market — before moving to Dataran Merdeka.
The rally, which until now has lived up to its “peaceful” billing, had its clear moment-of-the-day when former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made a short appearance here about 7.30pm.
This created a huge buzz on social media.
Organisers have continuously reminded supporters not to cross the barriers surrounding Dataran Merdeka, where Merdeka Day preparations and rehearsals are taking place. So far, these warnings have been heeded for the most part.
However, two small fires broke out at the nearby Rumah Persekutuan when unknown assailants threw Molotov cocktails onto the canopies there. However, firemen were able to put out the flames quickly.