People have the rights to assemble peacefully – BersihROSKHOIRAH YAHYA
SHAH ALAM - The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) reminds the authorities that the people have a constitutional right to assemble peacefully as it is a part of a functioning democratic system.
The Bersih steering committee stated that the police are responsible for upholding the Federal Constitution by ensuring the safety of participants and smooth traffic control during the assembly.
They also reminded the government to fulfil its promises during the 15th general election (GE15).
"Their promises to the people during GE15 that they received votes from the people based on a commitment to review and abolish acts that stifle voices and are misused to hinder freedom of expression.
"The alignment of political coalitions should not disregard these promises to the people, and we urge the government to fulfil them," the coalition said in a statement on Friday.
In addition, the steering committee expressed disappointment with the police's ‘excessive actions’ that prevented a gathering from submitting a memorandum by a group of farmers and activists outside Parliament.
"This should not have happened because peaceful gatherings to submit memorandum to members of Parliament are a democratic norm that should be facilitated, not obstructed by the authorities.
"We urge Parliament and the authorities to assist the gathering in submitting memorandum peacefully and orderly in the future, whether outside or inside Parliament," they stated.
Bersih also corrected the statement by Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIGP) Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, that the organisers of the gathering on Sept 16 to protest the release without acquittal (DNAA) of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should apply for a permit from the authorities five days before the assembly date.
"This is incorrect as the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 only requires the organisers of the assembly to notify the authorities and not apply for a permit or police permission as was previously practised.
"We urge the police to assist those protesting by ensuring the safety of participants and traffic control," they clarified.
Previously, the media reported that a peaceful gathering to kickstart the "Save Malaysia Movement" campaign would be organised by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) youth starting at 2 pm this Saturday.
Pasir Mas Member of Parliament, Ahmad Fadhli Shaari, said the gathering was held in response to the court's decision to DNAA Ahmad Zahid from 47 charges related to the Akalbudi Foundation.