Five days' notice needed before any assembly, says IGP

KLANG: Assembly organisers must give police at least five days' notice even though there is no need for a permit, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain.

He said the notice period had been shortened from the original 10 days when the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 first came into force.

"Organisers must also be aware that under Section 9(1) of the Act, the notice must be given to the OCPD of the area where they plan to gather.

"A form with 14 questions is also provided (in keeping with) the Act, and all these questions must be answered," he told reporters on Monday (March 4) after handing over the keys to nine families at the newly-renovated police quarters at Bandar Sultan Suleiman here.

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On Sunday (March 3), activist and former Bersih chairman Maria Chin Abdullah issued a statement expressing concern over news that police refused to accept the notice given by organisers of the Women’s March Malaysia 2024.

"Under the Federal Constitution, Article 10 guarantees our speech, assembly and association.

"The Peaceful Assembly Act implements and facilitates this right," she said while stressing that the need for a police permit was no longer applicable under the Act.

She also said it was time the police familiarised themselves with the Act.

"Refusal to accept the notice from the Women's March (organisers) is unacceptable, and the police have overstepped their... authority," she said.

On Monday, however, Razarudin said police would take action against those who did not adhere to stipulations under the Act.

"Article 10 of the Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, assembly and association, but Article 10(2) also stipulates that Parliament may, by law, impose restrictions as a way to strike a balance between human rights and public interest.

"Organisers must also understand that there may be a need to also organise road closures and deploy personnel to ensure these gatherings go on smoothly," he said.

Razarudin acknowledged that some confusion may be caused by certain OCPDs referring to the notice as a permit instead.

In response to a question, he said he would look into why the notice for the march was refused four times, as claimed in reports.

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