Police will not approve any street demonstrations demanding the prime minister’s resignation following the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) lawsuits claiming over US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
This was affirmed by Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar when explaining that the country had rules which must be followed.
The nation’s top cop said “it was not right” for Bersih 2.0 to hold a rally to demand that Najib Razak step down.
“There are other means to get the prime minister to step down,” he said in a press conference at the police training centre here today.
However, Khalid said that any organisation, including Bersih 2.0, had the right to assemble under the Peaceful Assembly Act as long as they did not break the law.
“The Peaceful Assembly Act allows demonstrations to be held but it must be in accordance with the law. If the assembly goes against the law, then we will not allow it.”
Last week, Bersih 2.0 Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah said the electoral reform NGO was planning to hold a rally.
In its lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles last week, the DoJ said it sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
The DoJ also alleged offences were committed over a four-year period and involved multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, who conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB.
It specifically named Riza Aziz, who is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stepson, Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low), and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
Meanwhile, Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin said organising a huge demonstration was akin to sentencing those named in the suit.
“One is innocent until proven guilty. Allow for due process to take place,” he told reporters after chairing the wing’s meeting at PWTC.