Peaceful Assembly Bill passed

(The Star) – KUALA LUMPUR: The Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 was passed by Parliament Tuesday after six amendments were made to the bill.

The bill was passed with no dissenting votes after the Opposition refused to take part in the debate and staged a walkout.

The walk-out was staged before Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri tabled six amendments to the bill.

The bill was passed before Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had allowed just three Opposition MPs to debate the proposed law.

The Opposition had asked for it to be retracted and put before a Parliamentary Select Committee for review.

The six changes include Sub-Clause 9 (1), where the 30-day notice period required to be given to the police was changed to 10 days.

Under Clause 12 (b), objections against a proposed assembly must be lodged with the police in writing within 48 hours, instead of five days.

For Clause 14, the change included the provision for police to give a reply to organisers within five days instead of 12.

In Clause 16(a), appeal against the rejection of an application or the exercise of police discretionary orders to organisers can be done within 48 hours of receipt, instead of four days while under Clause 16(b), the Home Minister is to answer any appeals within 48 hours of receipt instead of six days.