Press Release from BERSIH 2.0 (9 November 2020): Stop Police Intimidation Against Students, Defend Freedom Of Speech

The Coalition of Clean and Fair Election (BERSIH 2.0) urges the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to immediately stop the investigation and intimidation against student activist from University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY). The student movement has issued a media statement entitled “YDPA Should Not Interfere in National Affairs” on 31 October 2020.

Following the statement, on November 5, UMANY President and Vice President Robin Yap Wen Qing and Tan Li Yuan were investigated by the police under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Communications and Multimedia Act. Furthermore, the police also searched Robin’s house and confiscated his laptop and mobile phone. In a video recorded, the police who searched Robin’s house did not show any identification as a police officer and did not wear a uniform(1). Former UMANY president Wong Yan Ke, who recorded the police search process, was also taken to the Petaling Jaya IPD for questioning. Today, November 9, 2020, six more UMANY committee members were called by the police for questioning.

BERSIH 2.0 condemns any action from the authorities that impede the people from expressing their views peacefully on issues in our country. Enforcement of law to those who merely voicing out their opinion is a form of intimidation and contradicts human rights principles. Article 10 of the Federal Constitution also clearly guarantees people’s right to express their views freely.

BERSIH 2.0 also views the action of the police who only called students for investigation as a bias action as the President of the Senate, Tan Sri Rais Yatim also questioned the same thing in his Twitter post on 26 October 2020(2). If by raising and discussing an issue related to the constitution is regarded as legitimate for Tan Sri Rais Yatim, then the police should also immediately stop investigating UMANY students.

BERSIH 2.0 once again urges the police to respect the people’s right for freedom of speech and stop the investigation against the student immediately. The intimidation is a waste of time and police resources that should be channelled against fighting criminal activities that endanger peoples and country safety.

Released by,
Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0