Malaysiakini Letter

Protest is to invite engagement, not threats

Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)  |  Published:  |  Modified:

In response to the recent urging for an assembly to be convened on Malaysia Day on Sept 16 under the name of, ‘Himpunan Maruah Melayu’ (HMM or Rally for Malay Dignity), Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) holds the following view:

1. GBM is all for the right to dissent, without which democracy cannot exist.

2. GBM believes only in peaceful assembly as the idea of protest is to invite engagement, not to impose one’s position on others by means or threats of violence.

3. GBM rejects demeaning forms of protests, whether it’s photo-stomping, burning of effigies or vulgar dancing. GBM sees this as bad taste which should be sanctioned by public opinon, not crimes that should be punished by law.

4. GBM asks the police to ensure no assembly intending or threatening to cause violence can be held. As the organisers of the Sept 16 rally are still adamant on holding it, the responsibility is now on the police to ensure public safety and order. The police must promise to investigate and move to charge anyone threatening violence under Section 506 of the Penal Code with criminal intimidation.

5. GBM urges the police not to waste public funds to investigate and harass the participants of the Bersih 4 rally for wearing Bersih 4 yellow T-shirts and engagement in inappropriate forms of protest. The 11th hour ban of the Bersih 4 yellow T-shirts ridiculously makes the nation’s independence hollow. Selective prosecution will not eliminate inappropriate forms of protest but will instead only plant more seeds of discontent and disharmony.

To promote more civil forms of expression of dissent, we need dialogues to promote respect and harmony.

Issued by the following Member Organisations of GBM:

All Women’s Action Society (Awam)

Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)

Engage

Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)

Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (Kami)

LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)

National Indian Rights Action Team (Niat)

Negri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)

Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)

Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (LiuHua)

Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)

Pusat Komas

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)

The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)

United Chinese School alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)

Tindak Malaysia (TM)

Tamil Foundation (TF)

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