PETALING JAYA: Lawyer N. Surendran has criticised Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for claiming that the Women’s Day march was held without a permit.
The Lawyers for Liberty advisor said: “Outrageous. Acting just like BN used to. Under the PAA, there’s no such thing as a ‘permit’, only a notification to the police. How is it that the Home Minister seems unaware of this?”
Under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012, police permits are no longer required for mass assemblies, although organisers must notify the OCPD within 10 days of the assembly date.
In a series of tweets, Surendran said the Women’s Day march in Kuala Lumpur was an orderly one, and the fact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) elements were present does not make it illegal.
“With the abolition of Police Act, no such thing as ‘illegal assembly’. Minister and police - understand that!” he said on Monday (March 11).
According to Surendran, now that Pakatan Harapan is in power, they had quickly forgotten the long hard struggle for the right to peacefully assemble.
“Instead a harmless Women’s Day march is persecuted relentlessly! Having gained power, they now oppress in d (sic) same manner. Shameful!” he tweeted.
Prior to this, police said organisers of the International Women’s Day March will be called up to have their statement recorded.
The organisers had defended the event as being about the fight for equal rights amid criticisms that it had LGBT participants.
It reiterated its five demands, including ensuring women’s rights, an end to violence based on gender and sexual orientation, a ban on child marriage and a minimum wage of RM1,800.
More than 1,000 people took to the streets near Sogo KL on Saturday (March 9) to march for women’s rights in conjunction with International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8 each year.
Among the participants were members of Women’s Aid Organisation and Sisters in Islam, activists and students.
Many held colourful placards that championed various issues concerning women and gender equality and chanted slogans like “End child marriage”, “Hidup Wanita!”, “Stop sexism” and “Jangan Kacau LGBT”.
A few displayed LGBT rainbow flags.
2) It was an orderly march & d fact that LGBT elements were in d march doesn't make it illegal! Wit d abolition of Police Act, no such thing as 'illegal assembly'. Minister & police- understand that!— N.Surendran (@nsurendrann) March 11, 2019
3) Now that PH is in power, how quickly they forget our long hard struggle for the right to peacefully assemble. Instead a harmless Women's day march is persecuted relentlessly! Having gained power, they now oppress in d same manner. Shameful!— N.Surendran (@nsurendrann) March 11, 2019
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