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Rally in stadium for public safety, Gerakan Youth chief urges Bersih 5

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Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang has urged Bersih to hold its planned rally in a stadium for the sake of public safety, citing alleged "chaos" during the Bersih 3 rally in Kuala Lumpur in 2012.

"In the past, we have seen that such street demonstrations by Bersih had caused chaos and violence, such as seen during their event in 2012.

"Private and public properties were damaged as well as massive traffic jams affected the lives of those at surrounding areas," said Tan in a statement today.

He was commenting on plans for Bersih 5 to call for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down, following the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) forfeiture lawsuits that have alleged massive siphoning of 1MDB funds into the country.

Tan said Gerakan Youth recognises the right to assemble peacefully in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the rally should be held in a stadium "in view of Bersih and the opposition's past track record".

"It would be irresponsible if Bersih and the opposition still proceed to hold their demonstration in the streets.

"Don't' place public safety at risk and disrupt the lives of Malaysians," he said.

"We urge Bersih and the opposition to come to their senses," he added, saying the opposition should take over Putrajaya through democratic elections.

The massive Bersih 3 rally in April 2012 saw an estimated 150,000 march to Dataran Merdeka at the heart of Kuala Lumpur, which initially ended peacefully at 2.30pm with the organisers calling for the protestors to disperse, before chaos broke out.

Critics such as the Bar Council have slammed the authorities' excessive use of force on the dispersing crowd, that some say had led to ensuing incidents of violence.

Bersih's largest rally to date, Bersih 4 from August 29 to 30 last year saw at least 150,000 rally overnight without incident.

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