The right of freedom of assembly or freedom of association is recognized as a fundamental human rights and a civil liberty. People shall be entitled to assemble and as long as they remain non-violent. The freedom of assembly is granted by Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution. However, the introduction of the Peaceful Assembly Bill seems to defeat the rights of freedom of assembly.
Why is the proposed law is moving backwards instead of improving our current situation? Even Myanmar had passed a law to allow public protests but the bill actually puts the country on par with Zimbabwe -.-!
There are several controversial issues behind the Bill.
1. Prohibition of street protests
For your information, street protest is also known as demonstration. It is a group of person who gathered or meeting at a designated endpoint to express their views. The problem is the "peaceful" street protests prohibited by the Bill? If so, why do we need the Bill to govern the peaceful assembly at the first place?
2. Prohibition of organisation of assemblies of children below the age of 21 years old, participants must be citizens of 15 years old and above.
The fundamental rights to assembly under Federal Constitution is granted to every people regardless of the age limit. Is the fundamental liberties only limited to the adults in Malaysia?
Do not bring your child to the rally because they will be fined up to RM 10,000
3. Unduly onerous responsibilities and restrictions on organisers and assemblies.
The authorities shall be informed 30 days in advance, it is also subject to their approval. Even if Bersih 2.0 was approved, the authorities may subsequently imposed several tactic to arrest the person in charge.
The prohibition in or within 50m of hospitals, fire stations, petrol stations, transport infrastructure, schools and dams. This is ridiculous! The hospitals schools, petrol stations are everywhere, the only place the peaceful assembly can be held is most probably around jungle, kampung or undeveloped area ,under the sea or heaven! :p
4. Excessive fines for non-compliance of the Bill
The offender may be arrested without the warrant and will be fined up to RM 20,000. The arrest without warrant had empowered greater opportunities and power to the police officer to arrest people. Even a five people assembly may need to apply to the authorities or they will be arrested by the police officers without warrant.
"It's not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it." Aung San Suu Kyi
|Source: Malaysian Insider|
The Peaceful Assembly Bill has passed today. Equipped with the thirst to freedom, I hope we can Kill the Bill !!!