Women’s day march was against the law, top cop insists

The International Women’s Day march, held last Saturday, was in violation of the law, police say. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Top cop Mohamad Fuzi Harun today maintained that the organisers of last week’s International Women’s Day march had not followed proper procedure, amid calls for the authorities to halt investigations.

“The notice submitted did not fulfil the period (stated in the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012), that is why we did not approve the event.

“This is against the law, which is why investigations are ongoing,” he told reporters when asked about the matter at the Central Police Training Centre here.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan, among others, had urged the police to stop the investigations into the organisers of the march.

In a statement yesterday, he said the probes, under Section Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act and Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, encroached on the organisers’ rights.

He also said there was no reason to investigate the organisers under the Peaceful Assembly Act as they had complied with Section 9(1) of the law.

However, Fuzi said it was necessary to investigate the issue as more than 50 police reports had been lodged.

“At the moment, the police are preparing investigation papers. As soon as they are completed, they will be submitted to the deputy public prosecutor,” he said.

He added that the organisers had violated the law by proceeding with the march without a permit.

“The notice period was less than 10 days. If they fulfilled the period, we would definitely have approved the march,” he said.

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said earlier this week that the march was held without a permit, which was in violation of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

Under the act, police permits are not required for mass gatherings, although organisers must notify the district police chief 10 days ahead of the assembly date.