I refer to the #KitaLawan street demonstration organised by Pakatan at Sogo, Kuala Lumpur yesterday to demand the release of Anwar Ibrahim. The participants subsequently marched from Sogo to KLCC.
This street demonstration had caused ‘massive traffic jams’ at the surrounding areas from Sogo to KLCC. The illegal event had also unreasonably disrupted the livelihood of traders and other people at the said area during the weekend (which is usually their peak business day).
It’s clearly misleading when any opposition leader tries to claim that a street protest doesn’t breach any laws.
Under the Section 4(2)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act, a person commits an offence under the said Act if he organises or participates in a street protest. Section 4(3) of the Act provides that a person who committed an offence under Section 4(2)(c) shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ten thousand ringgit.
The participants of the illegal street protest should note that the Pakatan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim had been convicted of a serious crime of sodomising another male (after the victim had lodged a police report over the matter).
They should also realise that there is currently an application filed to pardon Anwar Ibrahim from serving out the punishment for this crime. Why would a person seek to be pardoned if he didn’t commit the crime? Should justice be set aside just because he’s the opposition chief?
In the days of Reformasi, there were over 100,000 demonstrators who supported Anwar Ibrahim compared to yesterday’s three thousand crowd. However yesterday, those street protestors are barely 0.01 percent of Malaysia’s 30 million population. They don’t represent Malaysia.
The organisers of the #KitaLawan street protest yesterday should have respected the democratic system in our country. They have no right to disrupt the lives of other Malaysians. If they wish to demonstrate, then do it peacefully in a stadium.
I urge the police to take stern action against the organisers of this senseless street protest which had unfairly disrupted the lives of other Malaysians. Otherwise, it would set a bad precedent for them to organise such illegal street protest again in future.
TAN KENG LIANG is Gerakan Youth chief.