Top 10 reasons to oppose the Peaceful Assembly Bill

by Zan Azlee
The Malaysian Insider
Nov 25, 2011

NOV 25 — I disagree with the Peaceful Assembly Bill which is being tabled in Parliament at the moment and I know that many sane Malaysians also disagree with it.

There’s been (and will be) tons of people writing and voicing their thoughts on the matter and here’s my list of top 10 reasons why I disagree with it:

1. The right for people to assemble is the right to freedom of speech and expression. If you limit and restrict that right, then you are denying democracy.

2. Myanmar just passed a law to allow public protests. I repeat — Myanmar just passed a law to allow public protests.

3. Prime Minister Najib Razak says this new law will be “revolutionary.” Sure! It’s as revolutionary as Iran’s Revolutionary Guards!

4. MITI Deputy Minister Mukhriz Mahathir says that street protests portray the country as having bad governance. Great! Bar the protests instead of addressing the bad governance!

5. Aside from the rules that are obviously stated in the Bill, everything else falls under the “discretion” of the police or the home minister. How conveniently ambiguous.

6. The peaceful assembly law is unconstitutional since protests are a form of expression.

7. The Bill disallows anyone under 21 years of age from participating in assemblies. I didn’t know young people had less human rights.

8. The Peaceful Assembly Bill is actually even more restrictive than the current law, which goes against what was promised by the prime minister in September during his Malaysia Day speech.

9. One of the reasons of protests and demonstrations is to create disruption (but peaceful disruption!) in order to bring attention to issues. Disallowing this disruption goes against the principle of protests and demonstrations.

10. As a member of the Malaysian rakyat, I was not asked my opinion about the Bill. Were you?

We, as Malaysians, need to make sure our voice is heard when it comes to this matter because if we don’t, then our voice will be stifled forever by this Bill.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 25 November 2011 - 10:17 am

    Scenario– After BN wins the 13 GE, PR MPs are allowed to ask only 1 question a day in Parliament.

    So Anwar asks: “Where is freedom?”

    And the next day, YB LKS asks: Where is Anwar?

  2. #2 by limkamput on Friday, 25 November 2011 - 10:43 am

    Don’t be too happy with Myanmar passing a law allowing protest. All renegade regimes are the same, they have to be brought down painfully. By the way, please don’t ever compare Malaysia with North Korea, Zimbabwe or Myanmar. Please don’t insult these countries.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Friday, 25 November 2011 - 10:54 am

    Forget all that. The no 1 reason to oppose: Najib & Co are Jerks and you can’t tell your children to behave if you let him get away being one..

  4. #4 by dagen on Friday, 25 November 2011 - 11:42 am

    Protest is a natural crowd behaviour. Assembling into a group for the purpose of voicing discontent is a normal crowd response. Assembly for support, for strength for solidarity must be expected. Cant stop it and in fact it would be pointless to stop it. Pass the Act, umno. Bring it on and see for yourself how useless and pointless the Act would be. I suspect the Act would only instigate more protests and rallies and marches. So let the party begin!

  5. #5 by monsterball on Friday, 25 November 2011 - 1:51 pm

    This is not about freedom they fear.
    This is about People Power they fear most.
    Most of all….U students take to the streets to demand change of get rid of corruptions.
    This is about Najib’s last act…to protect his band of robbers and thieves……and that’s what he was appointed to do…and so all thieves are supporting him.
    keDAILan …Azmin has sounded off…their party will break the prison wall….if Anwar is jailed for sodomy 2.
    “Break the prison wall”…is figuratively speaking…but it means keDAILan will take to the streets…if Anwars is in prison again.

  6. #6 by denon32 on Friday, 25 November 2011 - 4:15 pm

    The facts are political, we cannot control
    But how we feel and act, we can control ourselves. So please do not be quiet towards the Peaceful Assembly Bill. Let them hear our voices for a better change in Malaysia long term future.

  7. #7 by mauriyaII on Saturday, 26 November 2011 - 10:57 am

    If BERSIH 3.0 is organized on the same day and at the same time throughout the country, it would ram down the message that the rakyat is fed up of this rotten government down the throat of these reckless and arrogant UMNOputras/BN.

    Do not wait for this draconian PAB bill to be passed in Parliament which is the spawning ground of this corrupted, racist, arrogant and apartheid government.

    We not only want CLEAN AND FAIR elections but we need a Clean, Corruption-free, Transparent and Accountable government.

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