Archive for November 23rd, 2011

Najib has smashed to smithereens the mirage of political transformation and “best democracy in the world” which he created two months ago with a repressive and undemocratic Peaceful Assembly Bill

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has now smashed to smithereens the mirage of political transformation and “best democracy in the world” with the first reading of the undemocratic Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011.

The mirage created by Najib that he wants to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world” lasted only two months as the proposed repeal of Section 27 of the Police Act requiring police permits for any gathering of three or more persons is to be replaced by a more undemocratic and repressive Peaceful Assembly Bill violating the constitutional right of Malaysians to freedom of assembly.

In many respects, the Peaceful Assembly Bill is even more restrictive and repressive than Section 27 of the Police Act. Under the new law, for instance, a person can be fined up to RM20,000 as compared to RM10,000 under the Police Act.

In banning “street protests”, restricting assemblies from “prohibited places” or “within fifty metres from the limit of the prohibited place”, requiring notice of 30 days for an assembly to be held as well as empowering the police which is a total stranger to the concept of “democratic policing” to impose arbitrary restrictions and conditions for an assembly, the fundamental constitutional right of freedom to assembly runs the risk of being grounded to ashes. Read the rest of this entry »


Let Parliamentary Select Committee review Peaceful Assembly Bill

By Proham | November 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

NOV 23 — Proham views with grave concern the proposed Bill on Peaceful Assembly fails to reflect the true spirit of human rights that is consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Federal Constitution and the promise of the Prime Minister to institute democratic reform.

However, Proham acknowledges that the proposed bill recognises the citizen’s right to organise an assembly or participate in an assembly peacefully, although it makes it very difficult in practice.

The withdrawal of the permit to assemble is welcomed and reflects the PM’s commitment to further democratic reforms. However this is substituted by a whole range of pre-conditions and prior approvals, and restrictive legal provisions , including strengthening the powers of the police, that will severely discourage and dissuade the freedom of peaceful assembly, which is a basic human right.
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Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011: Unconstitutional and anti-democratic

By Tommy Thomas | November 23, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

NOV 23 — Why is it always the case that the Malaysian government, in the guise of improving the freedoms of its citizen, enacts laws that actually erode liberties?

Since 1960 when the Emergency was revoked, only to be immediately replaced by the dreaded Internal Security Act, 1960 (“ISA”), successive governments have taken state action to the detriment of its people. The Peaceful Assembly Bill, 2011, which had its first reading in the Federal Parliament yesterday, is another example of such retrograde law making.

I cannot believe that after 54 years of Merdeka in the 11th year of the 21st century, the Executive has the audacity to present a Bill, which, in its own Explanatory Statement, describes it as “one of the efforts initiated by the government to undertake the transformation of the existing legal framework in relation to the constitutional rights of citizens to assemble”.
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New assembly law undermines Constitution, says Ambiga

By Debra Chong
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 22, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 – Bersih 2.0 chief Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan slammed today the proposed new law on peaceful assembly for giving greater powers to the home minister and the police to curb dissent and undermine the Federal Constitution.

In a statement today, the prominent lawyer accused the government of failing to keep up with international standards and creating instead the illusion that Malaysians now have greater freedom as provided by the country’s supreme law.

“This Bill restricts our rights as much as possible. It gives unfettered powers to the minister and the police to further restrict the freedom to assemble. It impinges on free speech. In short, it will stymie legitimate dissent in ourcountry,” Ambiga (picture) charged.

“Furthermore freedom of assembly includes peaceful street protests. By excluding this as a right altogether the Federal Constitution is once again undermined,” she said.

Ambiga moved to punch holes in the Peaceful Assembly Bill tabled this morning, saying it was worse than the existing and unconstitutional section 27 of the Police Act 1967 it was to replace. Read the rest of this entry »