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Bersih rally at Tg Lipat
Published on: Thursday, August 20, 2015
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Bersih rally at Tg Lipat
Kota Kinabalu: The Bersih 4.0 Sabah version, dubbed Bersih 4 Democracy Festival, will be held at Tanjung Lipat esplanade, a popular public spot in the city with the hope it could avoid a similar fate as this year's May Day rally.The organiser Bersih Sabah's chairperson, Jannie Lasimbang, said the police had accepted the group's notice on the rally although it was not a confirmation that the venue was approved by the enforcement agency.

"Compared to May Day, this time, we don't want to go into a confrontation with the police by saying we want to go to Padang Merdeka although in Kuala Lumpur they will go to Dataran Merdeka. Here, because it is a 24-hour programme, we want people to be more comfortable and look at it as a festival.

"That is why we have decided to hold it in a more public place but with easier access in Tanjung Lipat. The place is suitable. It has toilets, camping points, places to eat and shelter if it rains," she said after handing over the group's notice on the rally to the police, here, Wednesday.

The group, however, would need the permission from City Hall to allow for the toilets in Tanjung Lipat to be opened beyond 7pm on Aug 29.

Jannie said they have tried to get an appointment with Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir earlier but failed to see him. Nevertheless, they managed to send the letter notifying him of the group's intention with the hope of a more favourable reply.

Fearing this event will suffer the same fate as May Day, Jannie said they are still hoping that City Hall will be more flexible since the venue is an open space.

She also was not able to meet with City Police Chief ACP M. Chandra but a letter had been sent to him notifying him that the group would be more than happy to meet and discuss security and traffic control if there is a need for it.

She said the event will take place, regardless of whether the authority accept it or not, especially because they will be using a public space and it is the right of the people to use the area.

"I hope many will come. The venue is big enough to put a few thousand people at one time. It is a celebration, a festival. People will go there to relax. But if it comes to it (no permission), we will have no choice. The committee will have to say, go ahead. Unless of course, the police gives us alternative place," she said.

Jannie, however, added that the idea of organising the event in a public space is because they want others to see them so that the group can have the platform to make their five demands, namely, to have a clean election, to have a clean government, the right to speak up, to have a stronger parliamentary democracy and to save the economy.

"We were told in the past to go to a corner if we want to do this but if that is the case, we will have to say no. We have to insist on this. By hook or by crook, we will still proceed.

"This is a celebration of democratic right for a cleaner Malaysia. The intention of Bersih is not to topple the Government. We only want to voice out our rights. We have no intention to topple the Government or bring Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak down.

So far, Jannie said the organiser had enlisted at least 10 groups who will take part in the event including the mountain guides who will relate their experience to the public, art groups, indigenous groups who want to talk about land rights, youth groups and women groups.

The group also launched the #YellowTrees campaign, a project where the public are encouraged to tie yellow ribbons around trees as a solidarity project.

"You can tie yellow ribbons on trees, take photos and put them on Bersih 3.0 Sabah Facebook page. We did it in Donggongon this morning on at least 20 trees. Other ways to show solidarity are by tying yellow ribbon on your cars, turning on your car headlight during the day, taking selfie while wearing yellow shirts and many more," she said.

Meanwhile, Jannie denied a claim which had gone viral on WhatsApp that the venue of Bersih 4 had been changed to Kundasang.


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