PETALING JAYA: The authorities should not take any legal action against participants of the Save Malaysia rally, says former deputy law minister Mohamed Hanipa Maidin.
This is because many of the unity government’s leaders had once been charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and Hanipa himself had represented them in court.
“Most Cabinet members are ‘graduates’ of the ‘School of Peaceful Assembly’ and I used to be their lawyer,” said Hanipa in a Facebook post yesterday.
“Even (Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister) Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad used to challenge the validity and constitutionality of some of the provisions in the PAA, though I was not his lawyer,” said Hanipa.
Hanipa also said that he, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, and two others had once challenged the constitutionality of the PAA when it was still a Bill.
“We filed a judicial review and asked the court, inter alia, to issue the declaratory relief and a writ of quo warranto (by what authority or warrant).
“It is public knowledge that I used to represent, for instance, Mohamad in many cases involving offences of alleged illegal assembly,” he argued.
The former Sepang MP said it would be “disgraceful and shameful” for the government to allow the police to continue using the “lack of permit excuse” to ban a peaceful assembly.
His comments follow the Perikatan Nasional-led Save Malaysia rally in Kuala Lumpur on September 16, which the police had threatened to ban because they said the organisers did not have a permit.
Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Allaudeen Abdul Majid said although the rally failed to comply with the provisions of the PAA, the police took every necessary step to ensure that it ran smoothly.
“The rally began at around 1.15pm at Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru and ended near Sogo Kuala Lumpur at around 3.30pm.
“Based on our initial investigations, 16 individuals gave speeches during the rally.
“A police report was also lodged by the organisers at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters during the rally,” he told a press conference on Sept 16.
Comm Allaudeen said the police were merely enforcing the regulations under PAA.
“Section 9 of the Act states that a notice must be given by the organisers to the police, and a form can be found in the Fourth Schedule under Section 10 of the same Act,” he had reportedly said.
“In the form, an organiser must be named.
“They must receive approval from the premise owner and written approval must also be attached to the form,” he said.