Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 – a Malaysian layman perspective

Wong Mun Chee

Much has transpired since the introduction of this bill. For those laymen like me please visit or see attached a copy for your reading where you are on first hand to have sight of this proposed bill. If you did not know this is public information not OSA so don’t be fearful of reading it. 

UMNO led BN as usual will dictate their legal draftsmen to copy & paste some archaic bills to cement this bill. Now the opposition is no better with their 30 days notice, fine matters whereas the fine print of the bill is a total infringement of Article 5 & Article 10 of the constitution.

As for the other bodies like the Suhakam & Bar Council, they had failed to detail exactly how backward this proposed bill is unless they feel laymen like you and me would not understand the nitty gritty of a law that would actually take away any liberty left for us to voice without fear and favor by Parliament suffocating & strangling our freedom.

If you have a chance to look through the proposed bill, you will notice in Part II “A Street” protest is amongst prohibited and see how it is defined in Interpretation (3).

In the same Interpretation (3) there is this thingy called “person who has interest” – see how far it is defined when in section (5) & (12) how broadly it is stretched.

Imagine, if you were to have a street protest, you would probably need to obtain an permission from the street hawkers and if you don’t it would against the law. Now it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out how onerous this law will become for righteous and humane cause in exercising fundamental liberty.  

I think this is a single peace of bill that takes us aback before independence in the pretext of artificial freedom. This bill is politically motivated which we are aware of, yet the opposition, nor the ultra vires media had not done enough to educate people beyond the typical political bashing by not addressing major issues in this proposed bill.  

This bill also gives the Home Ministry & the police such unabated power of the public of their exercise for freedom of movement.  

The bill is full of such contradictory terms that it shows how inept are the BN-led UMNO legal draftsman and also the inefficiency of the opposition, NGO’s and Bar Council in mounding a proper, meticulous challenge against UMNO as well as in educating people on the detrimental effect on the long term. 

As a layman Malaysian I think it is up to us as Malaysian to read through this bill and voice our dissent in any form as politicians come and go but our rights should prevail by our equal participation against this bill even if we need spend some precious moment of our live for the community.

I would suggest that this bill should be withdrawn in whole until and unless the UMNO led government had consulted other stakeholders of the community such as the opposition, NGOs’, Bar Council as they also do represent a major party of the community.

I hope Malaysians will take the trouble to read through the bill and understand what it really entails for our own good.

Thank you.