Bersih to sue ministry if slapped with clean-up costs for Kuala Lumpur rally

Workers cleaning up a street after the Bersih rally near Dataran Merdeka.
Workers cleaning up a street after the Bersih rally near Dataran Merdeka. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Bersih supporters sitting in the rain at Merdeka Square on Aug 30, 2015.
Bersih supporters sitting in the rain at Merdeka Square on Aug 30, 2015. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Organisers of the Bersih 4 rally will take the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to court if they are slapped with a RM65,000 (S$21,922) clean-up bill.

Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah said the ministry's statement was very disappointing, as their volunteers had stayed back to clear the rubbish after the rally over the weekend in Kuala Lumpur.

"If he had been there, he would have known how hard our volunteers worked to actually clean up," she said.

Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Bersih could expect to be slapped with the bill this week and urged them not to spend all the RM1.5 million they had collected for the rally yet.

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The Bersih chief said that she would seek legal advice if Datuk Rahman wanted to slap the bill on the organisation.

"If he wants to do it, there is nothing that I can do. We will seek legal advice," she said, adding that this could mean taking the matter to court.

Separately, Bersih 2.0 deputy chairman Sarajun Hoda Abdul Hassan denied dirtying the streets of Kuala Lumpur.

He said the organisers had made extra effort to ensure the streets were clean during and after the rally.

"We have photos to show that we cleaned up the area with thousands of our volunteers.

"You can ask anybody who attended the rally that everyone was cooperative," he said.

He said it was not the first time Bersih 2.0 was being slapped with a "cleaning bill".

"They have sent us bills in the past but they could not defend their bill. When our lawyers wrote to them, they went silent," he said.

"Before we concluded the rally, we also made an announcement for rally-goers to pick up the trash if they see any.

"I don't know what this bill is for," he said.