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    Aug 28, 2015

    Army to act on rally only if KL declares emergency


    THE Malaysian army will intervene in the Bersih 4.0 rally, planned for tomorrow and Sunday, only if the government declares a state of emergency, according to military chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.

    "If the situation is categorised as a threat to public order, we will take over the role of the police in containing the situation," General Zulkifeli told reporters yesterday, The Star reported.

    Meanwhile, analysts said that a large turnout could be expected at the rally, given the amount of funds donated by Malaysians, reported news website Malaysian Insider.

    They agreed that the widespread frustration over the RM2.6 billion (S$870 million) deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank accounts, the scandal over state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad and economic hardships would bring out a large crowd.

    The 34-hour rally, which would see protests in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, is led by a coaliton of non-governmental organisations known as Bersih.

    Bersih officials yesterday criticised plans by Malaysia's Internet regulator to block websites with information on the rally, likening the act to censorship.

    The police have declared that the rally is illegal due to Bersih's failure to get permission from landowners to use their properties as rallying points.

    But Bersih chief Maria Chin Abdullah has insisted the rally will take place as planned, and the organisers will work with the police to ensure the event is peaceful.