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Published: Wednesday November 23, 2011 MYT 6:40:00 PM

Dr Mahathir voices support for Peaceful Assembly Bill

JITRA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has voiced his support for the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 which was tabled in Parliament Tuesday.

The former prime minister said the new act was important to ensure that public assemblies would be free from violence or actions that could cause losses to others.

"The act has good intentions...besides preventing certain quarters from taking advantage of a situation, so that violence does not become a problem to the country," he said here Wednesday, when asked to comment on the bill, which will become an act if passed and gazetted.

The bill tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, is a transformation of the existing legal framework relating to the rights of citizens to assemble peacefully, as provided in the Federal Constitution.

"While people have the right to hold demonstrations, the rights of others will have to be protected by the government," said Dr Mahathir.

He said holding a demonstration close to Hari Raya, for instance, would adversely affect the business of traders, with the small ones already struggling to make a living. - Bernama

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