The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) refers to a statement released by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) are investigating doctors involved in the Code Black and Black Monday campaign. BERSIH 2.0 condemns the actions by PDRM to investigate the doctors and reiterate our stand that PDRM and the Malaysian government should respect the freedom of speech and expression.
The campaign is a voice of concern from doctors who only demanded a few things, particularly on the issue of two-year contract for doctors, and the working conditions of those who do not receive allowances and leave as permanent doctors. The Code Black and Black Monday campaign is a solidarity campaign by doctors for their fellow doctors who are still on contract status without job security and welfare. Therefore, they launched this campaign on social media while continuing to carry out their responsibilities towards their patients.
Is it wrong for contract doctors and their fellow doctors to demand the government to meet their needs as well as to provide better welfare guarantees? The government, especially PDRM, needs to be more rational and matured in addressing the people’s demands. In fact, what the doctors are doing does not contravene the Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which protects the freedom of speech and expression.
We reiterate our statement, on 2 July 2021, that crackdowns on dissenters who are exercising their constitutional rights to express their views and their situation is the symptom of a failed democracy. The method of intimidation by investigating them is an outdated measure that does not solve any problem and only denies the existing problems. The government need to be democratic and wiser, more so in crises management during this pandemic period.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0