SUARAM strongly condemns the suggestion made by Selangor Chief Minister Khalid Ibrahim on public assemblies in Selangor following an agreement reached with Selangor Police Chief.

Suaram is of the view that the suggestion has clearly undermined the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and is against the principles of freedom of peaceful assembly set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

According to a news report, Khalid Ibrahim was reported to have said that assemblies at public places should be no more than 15 minutes and participants need to return to private halls to continue on their agenda. He also suggested that the organiser should make an official request to the police for such an event.

The Chief Minister’s suggestion is clearly an executive intervention aimed to re-interpret and water down the human rights standard on freedom of assembly in Malaysia. We fear that the suggested restriction by the state executive will only worsen the current climate of harassment and intimidation on public assemblies. This allows for further restriction to the rights to assemble which has already been limited by the police in their highhanded selective and arbitrary actions.

In Malaysia, the right to assemble peacefully is provided for by the Article 10 (1)(b) of the Federal Constitution. The right to assemble is also a universal basic human right which is clearly stated in Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other related international human rights conventions

We would like to remind the Chief Minister about the two successful mass assemblies in 2007, organised by BERSIH and HINDRAF respectively. The two assemblies are clear proof that Malaysians are capable of holding peaceful assemblies. The Chief Minister also definitely failed to note the recognition and recommendations made by Suhakam and the 2005 Royal Police Commission on the right to assembly as both the commissions recommended that Section 27 of the Police Act that imposes restriction on public assemblies be repealed.

The Selangor Chief Minister’s suggestion also goes against the Selangor state government’s pledge to uphold human rights and democracy principles. The Chief Minister should be mindful that 9 months ago, prior to the general election, a number of the State Assembly representatives and EXCO members were also on the streets in solidarity with the people to protest against policies of the federal government.

The Selangor state government should therefore not back-peddle and compromise on human rights standards with suggestions that undermine the internationally accepted standards on the right to assembly.

We therefore call on the Chief Minister to withdraw his suggestion immediately and work towards realizing the wishes of people in promoting the exercise of human rights in this country. The Selangor state government should call for all legal restrictions on peaceful assembly to be repealed and promote the people’s right to assemble.

Released By,
Tah Moon Hui
SUARAM coordinator

35 responses »

  1. Bola Hangus says:

    2×5, 5×2 pun sama saja. MB ask to confiscate camera. Pakatan already starting to rot. Pakat reput.

  2. penang71 says:

    Give Khalid a break.
    He knows the Home Ministry and police are not going to relent on their anti-vigil stance (not yet anyway)
    He is trying to find a middle ground here. He just doesn’t want to see the rakyat sprayed, beaten up and arrested by the cops.
    We can’t change the attitude of our law enforcers overnight. It is going to take time.
    Can’t we be a little accommodating? And patient?
    Rome wasn’t built in a day!

  3. john says:

    We can give Khalid a break but who’s going to give us people a break? Corruption, abuse of power, mismanagement of the economy and country you name it they have done it. And you are saying we can’t even protest a little?

  4. hamzah says:

    Bola Hangus is right , Pakatan is rotting – PAS can’t even take internal criticism & sack its own members, nak ajar rakyat pulak…

    UMNO/BN laughing at the side line and if I’m Najib call for a snap election in April, 2009 to take back the states!

  5. Moonrider says:

    There is nothing the PR states can do as police is control by the UMNO/GOMEN. At least Khalid is working with the police to get a right channel to assembly and not to make people arrested or whatsover ..

  6. Moonrider says:

    There is nothing the PR states can do as police is control by the UMNO/GOMEN. At least Khalid is working with the police to get a right channel to assembly and not to make people arrested or whatsover .. His intention is good ..

    Maybe can ask selangor organise something like hari sukan.. then we can assemble ..

    I dont think we want to end up like in Bangkok ..

  7. Robert Teh says:

    Peaceful public gatherings or demonstrations should be allowed and tolerated by all fair-minded citizens of any democratic country. Public expression of difference of opinion must be allowed in this country otherwise we should just shut up and not criticise other nations for abuse of human rights.

    If public demonstrations are only allowed in confined places like halls or stadiums, how do you expect the participants to express or make known, their view or stance in a particular issue or subject, to the public?

    Putting them in a hall only allows them to ‘preach’ to the converted when in the first place their aim or objective is to spread their message of their cause – whatever that cause might be – to the public at large, and to gain support for their cause.

    How can we not allowed that in a democratic country like Malaysia?

  8. marbl3s says:

    I see two possible outcomes from this implementation.

    1) Khalid chickened out hence agreeing to the need of the government. This possible decision made could most probably be due to the numerous unwarranted arrest of his own coalition members.

    2) He not only limited peaceful gatherings but also limit those UMNO supporting morons from causing harm to the public. At least through this agreement, these UMNO extremist will no longer come out causing mayhem in public. If they do, then Khalid have all the reasons to demand the police to take actions.

  9. Menyalak-er says:

    Guys, gals, whoever said we are an ‘open’ democracy – we’re ‘closed’ period! TS Khalid realizes the limitations of ‘closed’ lubangs… 50yrs of it. Suaram’s for open protests – but beware what you wish for – closed KLIA as in BKK? Fair mided ‘they’ll never be. The angst is not one sided. Patience, endurance and perserverance – not instant gratification – which will corrupt the ‘mind’, as the saying goes.
    Btw, Susan lot’s of impolite/explicit innuendo’s in this blog nowadays… difficult to control huh?
    Cheers.

  10. chris chong says:

    united we stand. devided we fall.

  11. Mohamad says:

    Easier said than done. For the past 50 years your grandparents voted for BN. N now when PR managed to get power, most of you talking crap and nonsense about their actions.

    Why now? why now only u talking about your right? If you wanna talk about your RIGHTS, then talk to your hand.

    Give them a break !!

  12. kittykat46 says:

    Khalid Ibrahim really needs to take a course in political speech. As MB, he has to know, a lot of people are watching what he says.

    I think he had the right intentions to start with – work out a way for people to express their opinion on controversies like the ISA, which is acceptable to the police, so that people don’t have to expose themselves to the risk of being roughed up or jailed.
    A lot of ordinary people, me included, support the repeal of the ISA, but don’t relish the idea of spending a night in the lockup.

    But it all came out wrong. “Demonstrations” ? The candle light vigils are not demonstrations, that’s playing right into the hands of the goons, the so-called police.

    Having said all that, I think people need to have a bit of historical perspective.
    Lots of folks voted automatic default for BN for the last 50 years, often without even looking at the choice on the ballot paper properly.
    Who’s to blame for BN’s gangsterish behaviour ? Us – yeah, me, you, you, you, . We let them get away with it, by giving them a pat on the shoulder every General Elections. As late as 1998, the Chinese electorate gave a “Well Done” message to even that racist Kutty and saved his 2/3 majority. Otherwise it would have been Tsunami 1998.

  13. kittykat46 says:

    Sorry, should be 1999 GE.

  14. amoker says:

    I am not ranting yet and it maybe a good middle ground. not sure, but police will take advantage no matter what. The only thing they allow is UMNO linked demonstrations. I was so riled up when found out more about the Pewaris demonstration A women was beaten up! Yeah, and the police thinks that the virgil is more dangerous?

  15. caravanserai says:

    Pray for peace
    It is now even as you speak
    The fanatics trying to make it worst
    For the economy and the world

    Peace in our minds
    Everyday throughout our lives
    Else we will be the pawn
    For others to make

    The danger of fanaticism
    It rules the mind set free the anger
    All because we live in shells
    We refuse to acknowledge
    It is just one race

    Our neighbors fiery in their eyes
    Frustrations in their minds
    Venting anger thinking they will make it right
    Friends, in anger nothing can be solved
    It makes the situation turning bad

    Pray for peace
    In this time of turbulence
    Of raging storm
    We must stand to fight
    For living harmoniously
    Else we are goner of our doing

  16. eagle says:

    Tell that Tan Sri, don’t waste time. You are at the helm of the state and better do something. Don’t try to accommodate the police or the BN gomen, soon you will realize when the rakyat kick you out then everything will be to late.
    What diplomacy? It is about human right and there is no violent involve unless some element planted to provoke.
    There is no such thing as middle ground, even they are not in power yet they can do it, can you imagine when they are in power what will happen. Wrong move and your reading Mr MB is totally out.
    If Tan Sri Khalid is too timid and incompetent then just quit and let someone else sit in as MB. PKR talk about change but seems to be illusionary and betrayal of the people’s mandate.
    Tan Sri ” to succeed we need a clean break with the past”

  17. Nadia Ismail says:

    Thanks for voting them in! ignorance begets more ignorance!

  18. SPEAK UP MALAYSIA
    Call your MPs now and tell them that We, The Rakyat, reject any kind of politics based on stirring up hate and racism:

    – DEWAN RAKYAT MPs BY STATE
    http://www.parlimen.gov.my/eng-DewRakyat_AhliDewan_2.php

    – DEWAN NEGARA MPs
    http://www.parlimen.gov.my/eng-DewNegara_AhliDewan.php

    – INFO ABOUT PARLIAMENT
    http://www.parlimen.gov.my/

    Tell them that politics must be based on real issues like the economy, education, healthcare and human rights. The politics of hate and racism have no place in Malaysia today.

    PLEASE CALL YOUR MPs NOW. THANK YOU.
    ===

    SEE ALSO:

    Raja Nazrin: We must embrace multiculturalism:
    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/12720-raja-nazrin-we-must-embrace-multiculturalism

    Ketuanan Melayu rebutted:
    http://www.thenutgraph.com/ketuanan-melayu-rebutted

    Know your rights 2008:
    http://html.knowyourrights2008.org/

  19. Siput Babi says:

    KhLID IS THE PARIAH OF pkR.HE SHOULDNT COMPROMISE WITH THE POLICE AND DEAL WITH THEM BUT SHOULD HAVE STOOD FIRM ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION.HE CANT EVEN DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION WITH THE COPS HOW THE FU#K HE GONNA DEFEND OUR RIGHTS?

    WHAT MIDDLE GROUND.THE COPS CAN ARREST YOU EVEN WHILE UR IN YOUR OWN TOILET SMMSING.GET REAL.THE COPS MUST RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION AND HUMAN RIGHTS AND NOT DOING SOME DEAL WITH THE EXECUTIVES.HOW IS KHIR STRIKE A DEAL WITH THE COPS TO ARREST TERESA UNDER ISA TO SAFE THE INTEREST OF THE PUCHONG PEOPLE? HOW?

    NOW HE IS TALKIG ABOUT BANNING ALCOHOL IN SELANGOR.WHAT THE HELL PKR.UR BECOMING TALIBAN JUST IN A SECOND.

  20. Mohamad says:

    There you go ! Let change vote to UMNO and BN cause no one can satisfy your intention

  21. mesoso says:

    I say people !! please lah !! after 50 years of nonsense , you expect things to turn around just like that?
    come on, give the PR people some room to breathe. why so quick to make judgements? i didnt see anyone shouting or screaming at the BN people before this…!!

  22. fukonima says:

    I must say this is a first step, and gives Khalid some space to breath even though it does not augur well with the spirit of our constitution. Wait till PR takes over the federal guomen in the future, then we will see how it works.

    In the meantime, the police must also do a soul searching because that sleepy PeeAme said that he would implement IPCMC before he steps down in March 2009.

    How far Pak Lah can go? I really don’t know, but I give him the benefit of doubt.

  23. pj voter says:

    Khalid Ibrahim is in a dilemma. If he doesn’t give full freedom to the participants, he kena whacked by us. If he does , he also kena hentam by the Bn controlled police.

    This is the best what Khalid can do, but alas kena whacked by both sides.

    Sigh! To be a MB is not easy nowadays. Unlike the previous Mr. Toto’s time, we sure kena whacked without mercy until blood flowing meticulously from our bodies.

    My vote is for Khalid Ibrahim!

    Human Right #20 – The Right to Public Assembly

  24. mesoso says:

    (fukonima Says:
    November 27, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    In the meantime, the police must also do a soul searching because that sleepy PeeAme said that he would implement IPCMC before he steps down in March 2009.

    How far Pak Lah can go? I really don’t know, but I give him the benefit of doubt.)

    huh? you still want to give him the benefit of the doubt?? i think i would immediately doubt any benefit this fella (and BN by default) can bring to this country…i mean..has anything happened since march 2008 after all those soul searching and re-inventions and re-branding nonsense…??
    😦

  25. Master-Detective tamade says:

    fukomina,

    I agree with your generous acumen for Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim. It is easy for one to play the role of criticizing. Take note that the police is under the purview of the HM.

    The federal Government will do everything to sabotage the efforts by the state Government led bty Pakatan rakyat leaders.

    Even Barrack Obama and President Susilo bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia in their Inaugural speeches admitted that they can’t change things overnight.

    President Susilo in her maiden speech after assuming presidency in Oct 2004 charged that he will clean up corruption starting from his very own department and if you are following, there are some fruitful changes to this effect. Read also one article in Malaysia Today in hailing the incumbent Indonesian President.

    If you critics thinks the job is that easy, go and try.🙂

  26. Bola Hangus says:

    pakatan need to constantly remind the people of the their achiements the last several months since taking over. So far aku tengok tak dak beza pun kat selangor… traffic Jam dok mcm anak haram, the rest is business as usual. baik hang pa naik roket DAP pi space and smell your own fart in the space capsule. cmon la, farkin do a better job. People didnt vote for you cos they like you but cos they got no other choice! I even voted for the taliban PAs cos i got tired of UMNO bulsheet!

  27. Arnazeffendi says:

    50 years of nonsense versus 8 months tee toddling and some of you are acting like heroes?!!! puhleeaseee….i bet some are just good expressing at their keyboards.

  28. fukonima says:

    Mesoso, yes, this sleepy guy has failed the people after the 2004 landslide victory, that’s why the rage from the people in the 8th Mac GE sent him to the abyss of defeat.

    It is a humiliating scene when his generals whom he has protected and condoned, turned against him and forced him to step down as early as March 2009. Hard for him to swallow, for sure. (He must have regretted for not putting these evil and corrupted ones in jail).

    Now, he wants to regain some of his dignity and I guess he must have told his deputy that his so-called judiciary reform and IPCMC must be implemented before he steps down. (Unless his deputy wants to play him out).

    Otherwise, he will go down in the history lane as a ‘flip-flop,good for nothing‘ PeeAme of Bolehland, forever ridiculed by the Great Dictator of the Century, the MAMAK KUTTY.  So bloody malu, isn’t it? (He has promised so many times…)

    So, I give him some benefits of doubt because I believe he is not going to tarnish his father’s and also his ancestor’s good name (Badawi in Kepala Batas). 

  29. Jed Yoong says:

    i’ve been throwing parties without permits for some time.
    i think khalid is confused between a syiok sendiri private party on private premises from a PUBLIC demonstration…..
    i thought nik nazmi is political or press sec?

  30. Section 14 says:

    Hullo Susan!
    Growing pains, huh? Glad to see you’re still around. I love the black background, just like the good old days before the Election. I’ve been away, have a lot of catching up to do. Just thought I’d say hi. I see Caravanserai is still posting his poems (no comment), hullo menyalak-er, you probably don’t remember me, but that’s alright, hullo kittykat, good to see some familiar names still around. Take care and see you guys soon.
    Hidup Soh Chin Aun, Santokh Singh and the late, great Mokhtar Dahari!

  31. Nyonya Khan says:

    Is this a fortaste of Pakatan’s possibility of going off-track in the future?

  32. free says:

    “According to a news report, Khalid Ibrahim was reported to have said that assemblies….”

    The author failed to provide a reference to the news report, the accuracy of this report is questionable.

  33. Sun says:

    “free” should offer his/her/its services to SUARAM

  34. sinnerconman says:

    Please leave the poor MB alone and his namesake can put him in jail and nobody can do anything about it. Remember this is bolehland and lies are taken as pahala to be accumulated until the time when it is revealed that really matter.

  35. panca says:

    Malaysia is not A democratic country.

    The chips are well planted under their skin on the majority of the Rakyat better described…Robot Nation, the regime has successfully reigned with absolute power for 50 donkey years.

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