Nazri’s puerile understanding of the democratic processes

January 20, 2012

The Kempen Kebebasan Berhimpun (KKB) committee condemns Minister in the Prime Minister Department Nazri Aziz’s statement that the state will take firm action if Bersih 3.0 organises any street assembly in near future.

We view this statement as a political threat and a form of intimidation towards all Malaysians.Freedom of assembly is a fundamental right of all Malaysians as enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

If the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is sincere about making reforms, the reforms should be made in the spirit of protecting and promoting human rights values.

Nazri Aziz’s statement indicates immaturity in his understanding of democratic processes and the right to freedom of assembly. Street protests are part of human rights and democratic processes

KKB believes the government has a very narrow view of street protest. Street protest is a norm in democratic nations as a method for people to express their views.

If the Malaysian government is able to accept the revolution in Egypt and other countries which occurred via street protests; why are they unable to accept such conditions in their own country?

This clearly shows the hypocrisy of the Malaysian government in misusing the name of national security to close the space for Malaysians to protest.

We believe Nazri Aziz issued this statement to remind Malaysians about the Peaceful Assembly Act which was passed recently. The Act imposes a prohibition on street protests.

KKB believes that any act or law which restricts the freedom of assembly is no longer feared by the people of Malaysia. Government should stop all the intimidation and threats against people now.

KKB calls for the Act to be canceled or abolished immediately and for laws to uphold the rights of citizens to assembly and expression as provided for in the Federal Constitution and international human rights standards.

We would like to remind the Najib administration against applying double standards in human rights, especially when Malaysia sits in the UN Human Rights Council.

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