- Letter to the Prime Minister of Malaysia regarding the Peaceful Assembly Bill
- Regional law society says assembly law breaches human rights
- 查尔斯：违例者罚2万 和平集会法扼杀人权
- AN INVITATION TO TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT/FREE TRADE AGREEMENT PARALLEL PEOPLE’S CONFERENCE
- Malaysia urged to reject bill clamping down on peaceful protest
- ASEANs New Basket Case?
Posted: 29 Nov 2011 11:24 PM PST
Source: Human Rights Watch
November 29, 2011
Y.A.B. Dato' Sri Hj. Mohd. Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak
Via facsimile: +60 3 8888 3444
Re: Peaceful Assembly Bill
Dear Prime Minister Najib,
Human Rights Watch writes to share our deep concerns regarding the Peaceful Assembly Bill (PA 2011), now before the Malaysian parliament.
Our immediate concern is that the Malaysian Bar Council be permitted to conduct without disruption from police or counter-protesters their planned peaceful march in Kuala Lumpur from the Royal Lake Club to Parliament, which is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. today. As you are doubtlessly aware, the Bar Council plans to hand over a written submission of their proposed amendments to PA 2011 to Y.B. Datuk Liew Vui Keong, deputy minister in the prime minister's department. Since we understand that counter-protesters may also be present during the Bar Council's march, we urge you to instruct the police to keep both protests separate to ensure that all groups may peacefully assemble to make their views known.
The Bar Council's demonstration and all other peaceful protests related to deliberations over the PA 2011 should be accorded their rights to peaceful assembly, in accordance with protections outlined in article 10 of Malaysia's constitution and article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human Rights Watch notes that in your Malaysia Day speech, you stated that "the Government will also review section 27 of the Police Act 1967, taking into consideration Article 10 of the Federal Constitution regarding freedom of assembly and so as to be in line with international norms on the same matter." We commend your initiative to revamp the Police Act to do away with the requirement that organizers of a public assembly receive a permit in advance to proceed.
However, Human Rights Watch has identified a number of serious problems with the proposed PA 2011 that introduce restrictions which are not compatible with international human rights standards. Most important is the express prohibition of "assemblies in motion"—marches and processions that often take place on streets. Under general principles of international human rights law, any restrictions on the right to peaceful assembly must be necessary for public order and proportionate to the circumstances—a wholesale ban cannot meet those requirements. Every day, major cities around the world accommodate peaceful street protests and marches without disrupting the life of the city and its inhabitants and without having the protests erupt in violence.
We are further concerned with section 15(2)(h) of the Peaceful Assembly Bill, which cedes wide discretionary power to the district police chief to decide on, among other factors, the date, time, and duration of an assembly; the conduct of the participants; accommodation to the interests of others, such as business owners; and "any other matter that he deems necessary or expedient in relation to the assembly." In addition, section 21(2) of the bill provides that the police officer, in exercising the power to disperse an assembly, may use "all reasonable force" —but then fails to define what constitutes "reasonable" and what sort of situations would prompt that use of force.
Parliament should also revise the provision of the draft law that states that no assembly may be held at a "prohibited place" or within 50 meters of a place so designated. The list of prohibited places is unnecessarily long, raising concerns that these restrictions will make it virtually impossible to hold an assembly in an urban setting.
The Peaceful Assembly Bill reserves wide powers for Malaysia's home minister, including to determine whether an assembly may be legally held. Government objections to planned assemblies should ultimately be resolved by the courts, not a government minister.
Proposed prohibitions on children under 15 years and non-Malaysian citizens participating at an assembly are unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions, and are discriminatory.
Finally, Human Rights Watch notes with concern the undue haste with which PA 2011 is apparently being propelled through parliament and the lack of meaningful consultation with civil society that occurred prior to its being tabled. We urge that the bill be immediately withdrawn so that it can be referred to a Parliamentary Select Committee where all stakeholders can take part in a public consultation process to propose amendments to the draft law. PA 2011 should not be tabled until the defects outlined above—as well as others identified—are removed. The bill should only be enacted if it respects the right to peaceful assembly recognized under international law.
Malaysia stated in its campaign for a seat as a member of the United Nation Human Rights Council that it would promote and uphold international human rights standards. PA 2011 is one of the biggest tests of that commitment, and Malaysia should rise to the occasion and uphold the standards it pledged to respect when it stood for election.
Posted: 29 Nov 2011 09:17 PM PST
Source: The Malaysian Insider
By Debra Chong
November 30, 2011
Malaysian Bar members marching to Parliament to protest the Peaceful Assembly Bill November 29, 2011.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — LawAsia, an international society of lawyers, judges and legal experts said today Malaysia has directly or indirectly breached the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in passing the Peaceful Assembly Bill.The 45-year-old society — which the Malaysian Bar is a member — pointed out that Article 20 (1) of the UDHR states that "Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and which principle is entrenched in other international and regional instruments".
In a statement today, its president Malathi Das said it objected to the prohibition of street protests, the age restrictions on who may organise and attend an assembly, and the onerous procedures required to seek permission to hold an assembly as provided for under the new law.
It also noted that the new law increased the police's powers with regards to an assembly but lack the definition to safeguard the public from excessive misuse of such powers.
It is noted that members of the Malaysian Bar had marched peacefully to Parliament yesterday to present their alternative, which proved street demonstrations could be peaceful and not threaten public order or safety.
Posted: 29 Nov 2011 08:49 PM PST
Source: Nan Yang San Pau
Posted: 29 Nov 2011 02:52 PM PST
Date : 28th November, 2011.
AN INVITATION TO TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
In conjunction with TPP/FTA talks to be held by the Malaysian and US government from the 5th to
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement /Free Trade Agreement negotiations will
If the FTA is signed,it will make it harder for farmers and manufacturing workers to
DATE : 3RD DECEMBER, 2011 ( Saturday)
TIME : 9.30 AM TO 5.00 PM
VENUE: BILIK GERAKAN, 1ST floor , PEJABAT MAJLIS BANDARAYA
PETALING JAYA, JALAN YONG
SHOOK LIN, P.JAYA. ( BESIDE MBPJ CIVIC CENTRE)
TOPICS : What are FTA how it effects our lives , Implications to workers, farmers,
Speakers : Charles Santiago MP , Sanya Reid (Third World Network), Lim Li Ching (
For further information please contact : Sivarajan (0166798005) or
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Posted: 29 Nov 2011 02:45 PM PST
Monday 28 November
Malaysia urged to reject bill clamping down on peaceful protest
The Malaysian government has introduced a law which would further tighten the country's excessive restrictions on peaceful protest ahead of next year’s expected general elections, Amnesty International said today.
If enacted, the Peaceful Assembly Bill would effectively prohibit street protests and fine demonstrators who fail to comply up to 20,000 Malaysian ringgit (US$6,000). The Malaysian Parliament is to consider the bill on Tuesday.
“This bill is a legislative attack on Malaysians' right to peaceful protest," said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director at Amnesty International. "The Malaysian parliament should firmly reject this legislation."
Last July, the authorities launched a brutal crackdown on freedom of peaceful assembly when the Coalition for Clean Elections, known as Bersih, held a march for electoral reforms in Kuala Lumpur. Police beat peaceful protesters, fired tear gas canisters into the crowd, and arrested at least 1,667 demonstrators.
In the bill street protest is broadly defined as "open-air assembly which begins with a meeting at a specified place and consists of walking in a mass march or rally for the purpose of objecting to or advancing a particular cause or causes."
This goes against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which endorses the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association (article 20).
The bill restricts demonstrations to enclosed locations, such as stadiums, and requires protest organizers to obtain police permission in advance. Under public pressure, the Cabinet on Friday reduced from 30 days to 10 days the advance requirement for organizers of a public assembly to notify the police.
Nonetheless, police are given wide discretionary powers to impose restrictions on public assembly. Organizers of the July march known as Bersih 2.0 were denied permits for assembly, both in the street and at a stadium.
This bill would put Malaysia in violation of many of its international treaty obligations. For example, it restricts children below the age of 15 from participating in peaceful public assembly. Under the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Malaysia is a party, children have “the freedom to have their say, and the right to form associations and assemble peacefully” (article 15).
"If the Malaysian government is serious about holding free and fair elections, it needs to end this assault on the right to peaceful protest," said Sam Zarifi.
Posted: 29 Nov 2011 01:47 AM PST
While there is a flicker of progress in Myanmar, the light of democracy has been crushed in Malaysia. And it happened in Parliament, as the UMNO-led ruling Barisan Nasional government muscled its way to bulldoze the Peaceful Assembly Bill.
The parliament saw the play of a lethal game as only three opposition lawmakers were allowed to debate the Bill while the the BN and government-friendly lawmakers whined down their razzle-dazzle debates supporting the new piece of legislation.
Earlier this morning, hundreds of lawyers staged the “Walk for Freedom” march to register their opposition to the Bill which is repressive, encroaches into the civil liberties of the people and violates the Federal Constitution.
It is a rare protest as lawyers do not take to the streets in a whim and fancy. But when they walk, it is a slap on the face of the government as it caricatures the lack of democracy and poor governance.
There has been a significant change in Myanmar after the military handed over power to a nominal civilian government last November. No one could deny that releasing the country’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi was a big step forward.
Since then, the new government has reached out to her, allowed for street protests, called for peace with ethnic minorities, freed some 230 political prisoners and suspended a highly-suspect Chinese-funded dam project.
In Cambodia there has been concerted effort by the government to weed-out corruption, empower women politically and institute electoral reforms.
We, in direct contrast, are moving backward by curbing the civil liberties of the people. Prime minister Najib Tun Razak, addicted to his flip-flop policies, has gone back on his promise of reforms in the country.
In September, Najib scrapped Section 27 of the Police Act that requires a permit before holding rallies. It was, however, replaced with the more repressive Peaceful Assembly Bill with unacceptable restrictions on freedom of assembly, association and expression – the fundamental principles in a democracy.
The new Bill outlaws all street protests, forces the organizers to give a 10 day notice to the police, regulates, restricts and imposes conditions on an assembly and prohibits anyone under the age of 15 from taking part.
Furthermore, protesters could be slapped with a RM 20,000 fine while organizers who failed to give sufficient notice would be fined RM 10,000.
We will see the play out of this controversial policy in the next weeks and months. We will witness further clamping down of dissent, persecution of opposition politicians and an erosion of civil rights and liberties in the country.
In the lives of ordinary people, we will see tractors bulldozing down their sweat and blood as they are powerless to protest against corrupt contractors and an equally corrupt police force. We will see the voice of the poor being muffled even further.
Is this the future we envision for our country?
Yes, the Peaceful Assembly Bill is unconstitutional and unfair. But could the government win? To answer this question with a resounding NO, we need the rakyat to exercise their right at the ballot boxes to vote out a corrupt regime.
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