IGP warns 'red shirts' against criminal intimidation

RK Anand

Modified 26 Aug 2015, 12:50 pm

Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar has issued a stern warning to all quarters not to promote violence, and this includes the anti-Bersih group.

"Although we have declared the Bersih rally as illegal, we will not tolerate acts of criminal intimidation by anyone against those who participate," he said.

"Nobody should take the law into their own hands," he told Malaysiakini .

Khalid was responding to news reports that the anti-Bersih group would be training with machetes and swords as preparation to counter the overnight rally slated for Aug 29-30.

The group leader, Umno division chief Jamal MD Yunos, said the training is for self-defense and not to incite violence.

However, Khalid said such acts could be construed as criminal intimidation, and the police would not hesitate to take action against those who gather on the streets with weapons.

"Why train with swords if you do not intend to bring them on that day? If that is the case, then the police would arrest those found to be in possession of weapons.

"We would not tolerate any group that threatens security and public order," he cautioned.

Khalid also reiterated the police's warning for the public to steer clear of the Bersih rally and the gathering planned by the other group.

Jamal intends to mobilise 30,000 people to counter the Bersih overnight rally, which among others is to demand for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s resignation.

Donning red t-shirts, the anti-Bersih group plans to gather at Low Yat Plaza.

Yesterday, the group staged a martial arts display outside the Sogo shopping mall, where participants broke tiles and wood.

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