BERSIH 2.0 urges police to facilitate May Day rally instead of trying to stop it

MEDIA STATEMENT (24 April 2014)

BERSIH 2.0 is dismayed that Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad has labeled the May Day rally in Kuala Lumpur “illegal” and is even telling people to stay away from it, according to a report by The Star.
The police cannot use the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 to stop the rally. Workers Day all over the world is traditionally celebrated with a rally and this right to assemble is provided for in the Federal Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.
The OCPD’s stand also reflects poorly on the country, whose democratic credentials are deteriorating against a backdrop of continued harassment and oppression of political critics despite the Prime Minister’s proclamation to fashion Malaysia into one of the world’s best democracies.
We call upon the police to show the same level of commitment they are giving for the smooth passage of the US President in his first visit here this Saturday, to a peaceful May Day rally that will be attended by the Malaysian public.
BERSIH 2.0 strongly encourages the police to keep up with the times and see their role in safeguarding democratic practices, which has been long recommended by the National Human Rights Commission and most recently reiterated by the People’s Tribunal on Malaysia’s 13th General Election.
BERSIH 2.0 also takes this opportunity to encourage everyone who will be going to the rally to come for the workshop tonight at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, on police rights vis-à-vis freedom of assembly.
We reiterate our intention to gather on 1 May at KLCC, 2pm, to march to Dataran Merdeka – and reclaim the very space that was renamed after a free nation.
Issued by: The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0, which comprises:
Maria Chin Abdullah (Chairperson), Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa (Deputy Chairperson), Masjaliza Hamzah (Treasurer), Farhana Abdul Halim, New Sin Yew, Jannie Lasimbang (Sabah Vice-chair), Ahmad b. Awang Ali (Sarawak Vice-chair), Abd Halim b. Wan Ismail (East Peninsula Vice-chair), Thomas Fann (South Peninsula Vice-chair), Simon Lee Ying Wai (Central Peninsula Vice-chair) and Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon (North Peninsula Vice-chair).