By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The Malaysian Bar has approved a resolution condemning the police for using “excessive” and “indiscriminate” force to disperse Bersih 3.0 protesters on April 28, despite objections raised by a minority group of lawyers at today’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
According to Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee, only 16 of the 1,270 Malaysian Bar members in attendance today had opposed the resolution, which contained findings of alleged police brutality against protesters and members of the media.
Today’s EGM was called to discuss the slew of issues surrounding the rally for free and fair elections, which saw chaos on the streets of the capital when police fired tear gas and chemical-laced water to disperse protesters.
According to a notice issued on the Malaysian Bar’s official website on May 4, the EGM was called to discuss a motion “in relation to the events of and surrounding the public rally on 28 April 2012 organised by Bersih 3.0, and matters in connection therewith”.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently labelled the demonstration as an attempt by certain quarters to overthrow the elected Barisan Nasional (BN) government, as he hardened his administration’s position towards the electoral reform movement.
Lim previously said that the Bar’s monitoring team had found more instances of police brutality compared to last year’s July 9 Bersih event.
He also said the authorities failed to take heed of criticism and recommendations outlined by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) with regards to police conduct during Bersih’s first two rallies, and lamented on how “little has changed.”
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