3 MARCH 2020
I refer to the news reports of investigations upon Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan and several others in relation to recent public gatherings carried out over the weekend.
The rights of all Malaysians to peacefully protest or express their views are enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
There have been numerous views expressed over the political developments of the past week but rather than being overly sensitive about them, I strongly believe that differences of viewpoints are essential for a vibrant and healthy democracy.
In this regard, I urge the authorities to allow the public to express themselves and not to subject those who engage in peaceful protests to police investigations.
Nevertheless, I understand the police are exercising their duty to preserve public order and security. I therefore echo the statement from Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, the Inspector-General of Police, calling on organisers to respect the law and provide early notifications for holding rallies under the provisions of the Peaceful Assembly Act.
Democracy warrants a spirited contestation of ideas which means that the public must be free to express their views in a peaceful manner without disrupting public order and security.
YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali
Member of Parliament for Gombak