It is not wrong for people to attend rallies if something is wrong – Dr M, 2017

TTF: On the 26th of January 2017, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) questioned Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali over her participation in a women’s rally.

The move was met with ire by her husband, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who went around town telling people that the cops were after him.

Siti was questioned for a speech she made at the toxic “Wanita Bantah Politik Toksik” (Women Against Toxic Politics) rally that PDRM insisted was illegal.

In the weeks that followed, Mahathir himself attended several rallies that were without legitimate permits.

Then a retiree, he claimed that it was not wrong for people to attend rallies as it was the democratic right of all citizens to take to the streets if something was wrong. 

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri felt something was wrong.

While I may not agree with what she wrote, I respect the rights of those who support her to turn up at gatherings held in her favour.

Yet, when the police investigated her for allegedly breaking public assembly rules, Mahathir was nowhere to be found or heard.

Question is, are we now to assume that attending rallies is “no longer the right of all citizens who feel that something is not right?”

KUALA LUMPUR: Police are investigating activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri again, this time for allegedly breaking public assembly rules over a gathering supporting her when she was questioned over an online article.

Fadiah, who is also a lawyer, said the police investigation will be conducted under a provision in a law on public assemblies and rallies, where the organiser of an assembly has to give a 10-day advance notice to the district police chief.

“I’ve been called in again for questioning under section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“This investigation is in relation to the solidarity gathering that took place yesterday in front of the Brickfields police station. Malaysia Baru?” she tweeted today, referring to the “New Malaysia” phrase used to describe the country after a shift in federal power from Barisan Nasional (BN) to Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012’s Section 9(5), those convicted of breaching the Section 9(1) requirement for a 10-day notice can be punished with a maximum RM10,000 fine.

Yesterday, Fadiah was questioned at the Brickfields district police headquarters under the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998; the latter criminalises the uploading of offensive content online.

She had announced two days ago that she was called in for questioning.

Fadiah said she was called in for investigations yesterday after a student lodged a police report over her article.

Fadiah was referring to a contentious article titled “Don’t Kiss the Hands That Beat You”, which was published last Monday on www.malaysiamuda.wordpress.com and was seen as being critical of the position of the royal institution.

More than 30 activists reportedly turned up yesterday at the police station to show their support for Fadiah.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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