Skip to main content

Malaysian police: Opposition rally 'illegal'

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN
updated 5:58 AM EDT, Wed May 8, 2013
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
updated 11:50 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
updated 9:00 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
updated 7:32 PM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
updated 4:12 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
updated 2:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
updated 4:10 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
updated 11:03 AM EDT, Sat September 27, 2014
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
updated 10:23 AM EDT, Fri September 26, 2014
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
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