Skip to main content

Malaysian police: Opposition rally 'illegal'

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN
May 8, 2013 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Head of Malaysian police warns rally participants they risk arrest
  • Anwar Ibrahim has called a rally Wednesday to protest against election results
  • Prime Minister Najib Razak was re-elected with 133 of 222 parliamentary seats
  • Anwar claims the election result was "conjured through frauds and cheating"

(CNN) -- The head of Malaysia's police force has warned opposition supporters they face arrest if they attend a rally Wednesday evening organized by losing candidate Anwar Ibrahim.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said the rally was illegal because organizers didn't apply for a permit.

"The organizer must comply with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. Marching without permit aimed at arousing anger is wrong according to the law," Ismail said, according to the country's state-run news agency Bernama.

According to a statement from Anwar's Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition, the event is being held at a private location so is not bound by the law.

Politics looking forward in Malaysia

The group said it had informed police but there was no need for a permit.

Anwar has slammed the outcome of Sunday's general election, which extended the 56-year rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition, giving it a simple -- albeit reduced -- majority of 133 of 222 parliamentary seats. PR won 89.

"Our conscience cannot allow us to accept election results conjured through frauds and cheating. A fight for clean and fair election remains the single most important fight that any Malaysian should relate to," Anwar said in a statement released Monday.

READ: Ruling coalition wins again in Malaysia

He urged his supporters to wear black to the rally as a sign of mourning for Malaysia's democratic process.

A government spokesperson said on Tuesday that allegations of fraud in the election process were "unsubstantiated" and the government's victory was in line with independent polling.

"Anwar claimed the only way he could possibly lose was if there was 'massive fraud'," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Prime Minister Najib Razak took his oath of office on Monday after 80% of the electorate turned out to cast their vote.

During the weeks leading up to the election, reports emerged of escalating violence, including beatings and death threats.

Human Rights Watch also claimed that cyber-attacks had been directed at a number of Malaysian news websites, restricting access to reporting on the election within the country.

Other allegations surfaced on polling day, with Anwar's party and election observers alleging the government exchanged cash for votes and flew in foreigners to cast their ballots in favor of Barisan Nasional -- a charge denied by the government.

"We were told that 40,000 foreigners were being flown across Malaysia to vote. However, passenger manifests prove that a few hundred Malaysian citizens were flown to their home states, entirely legally," it said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT