Monday, August 03, 2009

We do not need 'permission' from the police - for us to be able to gather, assemble and peacefully express ourselves or protest...

Malaysians have got to wake and decide whether they want a better Malaysia - a Malaysia where there really exist democracy, freedoms, justice and human rights...

DEMOCRACY - where the people choose their own leaders/representatives at all levels of society [In Malaysia, the people only have the right to elect their member of Parliaments,and their State Legislative Assembly Rep...]. We should be electing our local leaders,local council members and mayors, our Senators...  but we are not.

In a Democracy, the people have a right to express themselves, ventilate their opinions, freedom of assembly and protest.... BUT, in Malaysia a gathering of 3 requires a police permit. [At present, if there are more than 3 [or 5 according to another law] persons in one place, you have broken the law, and the police can arrest you... and you can be charged for 'illegal assembly'. 

When you have guests over,and you number more than 3 (or 5) - 'illegal assembly'

When you have a party - and there are more than 3(or 5) - 'illegal assembly'

When you have a prayer gathering/meeting -and you number more than 3 (or 5) - 'illegal assembly'

When you go for a walk - and you number more than 3 (or 5) - 'illegal assembly'

SO - you really need to make an application to the police and get the necessary permits - and the police may impose conditions (like - no political talk, must end by 11pm, etc... any conditions or they may just say "NO")

YES - all these are illegal gatherings according to the law in Malaysia - and whether to arrest is really up to the police.

Whether to charge you in court, then it is up to the prosecutors, the AG and the government of the day...

Many of us are continuously breaking this law about 'illegal assembly'  - and the possibility of arrest and being charged for an offence related to 'illegal assembly' hangs over our head always like a Sword of Damocles - and we continue to live in Malaysia with this fear...with this 'threat'... 

We should never have to ask permission from the police to organize and have a gathering, meeting, etc

PERMISSION never - But, say if we are having a gathering, procession, etc - maybe a requirement to INFORM may be acceptable. INFORM - not asking for permission. Who are the police? We are certainly not 'kids' and they are certainly not our 'parents' or persons who have a 'loco-parentis' role. 

We are adult mature Malaysians - and we have a right to assemble, gather, have diners,...and even peaceably protest  


5) Any assembly, meeting or procession-

(a) which takes place without a licence issued under subsection (2); or

(b) in which three or more persons taking part neglect or refuse to obey any order given under the provisions of subsection (1) or subsection (3),

shall be deemed to be an unlawful assembly, and all persons attending, found at or taking part in such assembly, meeting or procession and, in the case of an assembly, meeting or procession for which no licence has been issued, all persons taking part or concerned in convening, collecting or directing such assembly, meeting or procession, shall be guilty of an offence. - Police Act, section 27(5)

1 comment:

Helen said...

Pehaps we should all decide a day when all democracy-loving citizens line up at police stations all over the country to apply for permits to go out with friends/relatives. That will really help them to see how ridiculous the law is!