Muda's Amir Hadi calls for clarity on permit issue for peaceful rallies

He claims since 2012, the Peaceful Assembly Act has been enacted, abolishing the need for permits and requiring only a notice to the police.

28 Feb 2024 09:10pm
Muda’s Secretary-General Amir Hariri Abd Hadi.
Muda’s Secretary-General Amir Hariri Abd Hadi.

SHAH ALAM - Muda’s Secretary-General Amir Hariri Abd Hadi questions the need for a permit for the upcoming 'Mega Demi Palestin' rally scheduled for this Saturday, citing the abolishment of the need for a permit under the Peaceful Assembly Act in 2012.

In a three-minute video shared on his Instagram, Amir discussed the matter of rally permits in response to Wangsa Maju district police chief Superintendent Ashari Abu Samah's statement, who mentioned the absence of any permit application from the organiser of the rally.

“The Wangsa Maju District Police Chief said that the planned ‘Mega Demi Palestin’ rally scheduled for this Saturday lacks a permit. In the past, permits were indeed required for assemblies under the Police Act.

“However, since 2012, the Peaceful Assembly Act has been enacted, abolishing the need for permits and requiring only a notice to the police under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act to hold an assembly,” he explained.

He stressed that this notice serves as an announcement, not an application and ensures the safety of the assembly.

Drawing from his experience living in the United Kingdom, Amir emphasised that the right to assemble is fundamental in mature democracies.

“Most government or political figures in the current administration are often the ones discussing reform issues. They have also been critical of not just the Police Act but also the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“As for Section 9(1) I mentioned earlier, failure to give notice as per Section 9(5) can result in a fine of up to RM10,000.

Related Articles:

“However, the Court of Appeal ruled in 2014 that Section 9(5) is unconstitutional as it contradicts Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees Malaysian citizens the right to assemble, speak and associate.

“Assembly is fundamental to democracy; without the ability to assemble, speak and associate, the democratic system of a country collapses,” he added.

Amir said that democracy encompasses more than just participating in elections; it also entails the freedom to peacefully assemble when individuals disagree with government policies, current events or global matters.

“As long as these assemblies remain peaceful, there should be no need for investigations or other interventions,” he said.

He urged the government to uphold its reform agenda by amending the Peaceful Assembly Act to facilitate peaceful assemblies and accommodate diverse opinions.

Earlier today, the police refuted claims of approving or issuing any permit for the 'Perhimpunan Mega Rakyat Demi Palestin' rally, as announced by the Palestinian Solidarity Secretariat (SSP).

Ashari said as of Tuesday (Feb 27), the organisers had not submitted any notification or application for the rally.

"Despite a meeting held with the organisers on Thursday (Feb 22) at the Wangsa Maju District Police Headquarters (IPD), no notification or permit application has been received from them," he said in a statement.

Following the meeting, the organisers were advised to submit the necessary notification and permit application to the Wangsa Maju IPD.

More Like This