The prime minister thanked federal opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for respecting the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 during their mega-rally last Saturday.
“The rally that took place peacefully in Stadium Merdeka last Saturday is a testimony to the ability of all, whether it’s the authorities or the organisers to obey the provisions and spirit of the existing Act.
“Congratulations on the professionalism displayed by the authorities.
“I also say ‘thank you’ to the opposition; although I don’t agree with them but they respected the spirit of the Peaceful Assembly Act,” Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in his keynote address at a conference here.
Najib had earlier in his speech included the PAA as an example of law reforms undertaken by the government as part of its commitment to create a legal environment that is more supportive of human rights.
The “Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat” mammoth rally at Stadium Merdeka was organised by both political leaders from PR and non-partisan members of various civil society groups as a final showcase of election issues before Election 2013.
Issues raised include the push for clean and fair elections, demands for free tertiary education, fairer distribution of royalty payments to oil-producing states, and a stop to the Lynas rare-earth plant in Kuantan.
Tens of thousands of citizens poured in to the capital city to attend the rally, which was peaceful to the end.
The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) were also praised by the public and political leaders across the divide for exercising restraint during the rally informally dubbed “KL112”.
The police had also set up a media centre and deployed 80 officers to act as “media marshals” to aid and escort the press around the rally venue.
Previous rallies organised by election reforms group Bersih 2.0 had resulted in violent encounters between the police and protesters amid a shower of tear gas canisters and chemical-laced water.
Following the third rally by Bersih last year, members of the media had also complained of alleged assaults and confiscation of cameras by the police.
But the “KL112” rally organisers appeared to have breached the PAA, including a provision that bars children from participating in non-religious assemblies.
The police have said that they are investigating the organisers for violating three out of 27 conditions that were agreed to before the rally.
The three alleged infractions are: allowing children to participate, using banners that incite hostility, and for exceeding the earlier estimated 30,000 crowd target.
em..... because he knows that PR will win this coming GE and it would be better to make friends now?
Don't be fooled by Najib. He is praising the opposition because he knows the opposition has more popular support now, and by 'praising' them, he can 'melt' some hearts.
Tell you moronic police to back off from investigating organizers for breaking the three conditions. Doing that is akin to trying to fine drivers for going over the line of the traffic light junction, while turning a blind eye to those Mat Rempits who beat the red lights.
Lastly, all of us are peaceful protesters. This episode proved that it was the police who instigated the violence in Bersih 3.0!