Police probe into Perikatan supporters' gathering hypocritical, says LFL

PETALING JAYA: The ongoing police investigation into a public gathering to show support for Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is hypocritical, says Lawyers for Liberty (LFL).

Its director Zaid Malek said in a statement that the police probe is unnecessary and unbecoming of any government or leader that claims to be 'reformist'. The gathering at MACC was peaceful," Zaid said.

He called for an immediate halt to all police probes, adding that Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim must publicly declare there will be no further crackdown on any peaceful rallies or assemblies in the future.

Police have said they would call in political leaders and those behind the gathering outside the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya, where Muhyiddin was questioned for more than eight hours a day before he was slapped with corruption charges on Friday (March 10).

Zaid said the gathering was protected under Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution for all Malaysians "irrespective of political alignment".

"Public assemblies can occur on the spur of the moment as an immediate response to an event, exactly as what occurred in the case of the gathering by those in support of Muhyiddin Yassin at the MACC headquarters," he said, adding that the Peaceful Assembly Act which came into force during the Barisan Nasional administration does not fulfil the constitutional guarantee.

"This was always the position taken by Pakatan when it was in the opposition. Pakatan maintained that it is a sacred right protected under our Constitution that must not be curtailed by the Peaceful Assembly Act.

"It would be obvious hypocrisy and double standards for a Pakatan-led government to now preside over a crackdown on peaceful public assemblies held by the current Opposition," he added.

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