Peaceful Assembly Act 2011

Additionally, it shall be up to any police officer on the scene to determine if the assembly is peaceful or otherwise. Immediate arrests without the need of an arrest warrant is granted.


Breaking News. Malaysia.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz tabled the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 in the Malaysian Parliament on Tuesday this week. This is one of the new laws to be enacted to replace the Internal Security Act (ISA), the other new law being the Domestic Defense Act.

When questioned of this new legislation, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that this new law is one of the many concerted efforts initiated by the current government to undertake the transformation of the existing legal framework, in relation to the constitutional rights of citizens to assemble. It seeks to permit Malaysian citizens to organize and participate in assemblies peacefully and without arms. However he stressed that these assemblies are subjected to restrictions deemed necessary and in the interest of public order and security.

When asked to further elaborate on the restrictions that shall be imposed, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz stated for a fact that all assemblies are restricted to areas deemed “non-prohibitive” and that the assemblies cannot be extended to being street protests. Public places and all federal governmental office areas are deemed prohibited areas and that the people participating in the assembly are off limits to a 50 meter radius of
that prohibitive place.

It is not known to the Auditor-General but a firm order has been placed with an Israeli government-linked company for the supply of one million units of portable laser rangefinders at USD100,000 per unit. Unconfirmed sources from within Radio Shack of the US of A has indicated that they shall be supplying these items to the Israeli company who in turn shall sell them to the an unnamed individual in the PM’s Department who in turn will supply to the GOM.

In another totally unrelated news, a Chinese electronic toy maker has received a firm order from Radio Shack to manufacture one million units of portable laser rangefinders.

The Bill also stipulates that the organizer of an assembly must guarantee the assembly is in compliance with the laws and does not commit any act or make any statement that could promote ill-feeling, discontent or hostility amongst the public nor disturb the public tranquility, while a participant should adhere to the orders given by the police or organizer to conduct the assembly orderly. Additionally, it shall be up to any police officer on the
scene to determine if the assembly is peaceful or otherwise. Immediate arrests without the need of an arrest warrant is granted.

Clause 8 of the Bill also sets out the responsibilities of the police, where a police officer may take any measures deemed necessary to ensure orderly conduct of the assembly, in accordance with the Act or any other written law.

In another unrelated news, the same Chinese toy maker has been ordered to manufacture another one million units of tasers.

Under Clause 14, an officer in charge of a police district is required to respond to a notification of assembly within 12 days, upon receipt of the notification, which he also needs to respond to organizers, any restrictions and conditions to be imposed.

Clause 15 sets out the conditions and restrictions that may be imposed by the officer in charge of the police district such as date, time and duration, and place of assembly, manner of the assembly and conduct of participants during the assembly.

The Bill, when passed, will empower a police officer to arrest, without warrant, any organizer or participant who refuses or fails to comply with any restriction and condition imposed.

Clause 21 also empowers a police officer to issue an order to disperse, if the assembly did not comply with the laws stated above.

Clause 23 will allow a police officer to make any form of recording of an assembly while Clause 24 allows any media representative to have reasonable access to a place of assembly and use any equipment to report on the assembly.

Meanwhile, in consequence to the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011, the Police Act 1967 (Act 344) will also be amended. The Bill will seek to delete sections 27, 27A, 27B and 27C of the Act 344, which does away with the requirement for a license to convene or collect assembly or meeting or to form a procession in any public place.

This new law, if passed basically means that no police permits are now required but the organizers of an assembly will be required to notify the PDRM two weeks before the event and that the assembly can only be held in areas that are approved by them. Furthermore, if the assembly is deemed disorderly or racial or anti-government or within prohibited areas, the organizers can and will be held fully responsible and be arrested. Similarly, any
individual considered as unruly or any individuals, after an order to disperse has been called, can be arrested on the spot, civil liberties be damned. Additionally, no persons under 15 years old can participate in such assemblies and any persons who are deemed responsible for the child being there can and will be arrested and fined up to RM20,000.

When asked of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department whether he will set up a counter within his office in Putrajaya akin to the one set up by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said that he is seriously considering it, “Paper are not cheap anymore … especially in triplicate…”