The Penang Bersih 3.0 solidarity gathering at the Esplanade on 28 April 2012 drew thousands of people, many of them reassured in the knowledge that the authorities had no objection to the event. Unbeknownst to many, Aliran had to work hard behind the scenes in the days leading up to the event.
Much of the effort centred on seeking the cooperation of local authorities (the Penang state government, the local council and the Penang police) to successfully pull off the event without incident.
Apart from meetings and preparations for the event, letters were flying in different directions. We share with you some of the correspondence in the interest of transparency and posterity.
Correspondence with the Penang police
- 23 April 2012 – Aliran writes a letter to the police informing them of the Bersih 3.0 gathering in Penang on 28 April.
- 23 April 2012 – The Penang police request a meeting with Aliran on 24 April to discuss the event.
- 23 April 2012 – The Penang Chief Minister writes to the police saying he has no objection to the event.
- 27 April 2012 – The police write to Aliran listing out the conditions in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and the responsibilities of the organisers. Aliran duly acknowledges the terms and accepts responsibility for the event.
Correspondence with the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP)
- 23 April 2012 – Aliran writes to the MPPP informing them about the event.
- 24 April 2012 – The MPPP replies to Aliran, saying it has no objection to the event.