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PM: A step towards strengthening rule of law

By Friday November 25th, 2011 No Comments

THE tabling of the Peaceful Assembly 2011 Bill represents a step towards strengthening the sovereignty of the rule of law while upholding the freedom of fundamental liberties in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“This would help achieve the objective towards the implementation and administration of a legal system that is more just while preserving basic individual rights as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution,” he said when tabling the Bill for second reading.

“As far as appropriate, every citizen has the right to organise assemblies or to participate in assemblies peacefully,” he added.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the Bill was not to give the police more enforcement powers than they already have.

“Far from it. Section 27 of the Police Act does not allow assemblies to take place without a permit. Under this Bill, you don’t need a permit. You merely need to inform the police.

“We are actually abolishing Section 27.”

Hishammuddin was responding to criticism of the new Bill by opposition politicians and civil society groups, who claimed that it was worse than current laws.

Among the biggest complaints were the explicit banning of street protests and assemblies held within 50m of areas and structures designated as prohibited areas.

Hishammuddin argued that the Bill was drafted after close consultation by the Attor­ney-General’s office with his ministry and the police. “This new Bill is a landmark Bill.”

Source : The Star

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