Bar Council: Allow assembly to go on


It is the constitutional right of any Malaysian to assemble peacefully in public, whether in celebration or in protest, says Bar Council president Christopher Leong

Ikhwan Zulkaflee, FMT

Malaysian Bar Council has called on the government and police to facilitate the peaceful assembly planned at Dataran Merdeka tomorrow night to protest price hikes in the country.

Its president, Christopher Leong, said it was the constitutional right of Malaysians to assemble peacefully in public, whether in celebration or in protest.

He said this would be a legitimate expression by Malaysians of their concerns or objections, and an exercise of their constitutional right.

“The existence of other avenues of raising their objections, such as petitions, writing letters of complaint or speaking to elected representatives, will not displace the right to peaceful and orderly public assembly,” he said in a statement today.

Leong said in accordance to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, the police must respect, promote and protect the exercise of the fundamental freedom of assembly and expression during such gatherings.

“The provisions of the Act must not applied narrowly to frustrate its purpose.

“The police have in effect had more than 10 days notice of the planned event. The fact that the police have been speaking about the gathering is itself evidence of their knowledge,” he added.