There is only one sensible and logical solution in Perak: Go back to the people.
I base this on the basic democratic principle that the ultimate boss in a democracy is the people. Judiciary cannot solve this political impasse without being perceived as partisan by one group or the other.
What has made the matter worst in the eye of the public is the tough stand taken by certain government institutions in-charge of enforcement which should by right be non-partisan.
The latest action that has shocked many people is the arrest of participants in connection with a hunger strike in Ipoh. Even though the latest news had it that all had been released, I thought a little bit more discretion on the part of the law enforcers would have been more prudent.
Under Federal Constitution Article 10 (1) , there are 3 clauses, namely:
(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) all citizens have the right to form associations.
Article 9 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
We must realise that the world is no longer 20 or 30 years ago. Under the emergency ordinance, formulated during the time of the war against the communists half a century ago, any assembly more than five persons will be deemed illegal unless held with permission. This rule is long past its usefulness, and should have been abolished long time ago.
In the modern world, peaceful expression or picketing, without disrupting peace, should be allowed.
We are not Myanmar.
Despite all the imperfections, we are still a country ostensibly ruled by law. If that is the case, there should be more discretion in using the power to arrest and detain. By all means, watch over them, but if anyone wishes to go on hunger strike and the strike is not harming his life, he should be allowed to do so as a form of expressing his dislike.
Our new administration under the new PM has wanted to win the war of perception. But to win the perception, you must win the hearts of the people, not by sending a signal that strong arms tactic will be used, if you do not obey.
The PM and his ministers can institute all the reforms they want but without respect to human rights and heed the wishes of the people in the case of Perak, all the efforts would come to naught.