Don organises assembly to protest Bill

Wong Chin Huat of Monash University says that the Bill has tested his ‘tolerance for idiocy’.

(Free Malaysia Today) – An academic has decided to thumb his nose at the recently tabled Peaceful Assembly Bill by doing exactly what the Bill aims to prohibit.

Wong Chin Huat of Monash University has organised a peaceful assembly called “Malaysians Can Walk Freely In KLCC Without Police Permit” to take place this Saturday afternoon at the mall.

As of last night, 300 people have indicated their attendance via the event’s Facebook page. But Wong isn’t out to recreate Bersih 2.0.

For him even 50 people would be enough to drive home the absurdity of the Bill and show the government that the people will not accept the Bill in its current form.

Touted by the opposition and NGOs as being even more repressive than the Police Act 1967, the Bill seeks to ban street protests and empowers the police to impose restrictions on public assemblies.

“My tolerance for idiocy has reached its limit with that Bill,” an exasperated Wong told FMT.

“Would you need a police permit to hold a wedding dinner or to go to the pasar malam with friends?”

“So why do you need one for an assembly with a cause attached to it? The government isn’t banning personal and professional assemblies, so why ban political ones?”

Wong explained that he also wanted the public to rethink their notion of a demonstration in that it needn’t involve banners, placards and shouting.

“That just gives the police a legit excuse to stop the demonstration,” he pointed out. “So we will show them that we can still demonstrate without any of that.”

“If the people feel strongly enough they can bring a flag because we are there for our country. Or they can bring balloons or flowes because rallies are meant to be fun.”