PETALING JAYA: Former minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today criticised police action against the participants of a rally held on Sunday, saying the right to hold peaceful protests is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
The rally in Dataran Merdeka followed the political crisis that struck the country last week, culminating in Muhyiddin Yassin being named as prime minister. It was attended by activists Marina Mahathir and Ambiga Sreenevasan, among others.
Yesterday, police said they had opened investigation papers into the rally.
Azmin, who was among the politicians at the centre of the crisis, said there had been numerous views expressed about it.
Instead of being overly sensitive about them, the Gombak MP said, differences in viewpoints were 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,” he said in a statement.
He also urged organisers to respect the law and to provide early notification for rallies as required under 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,” he said.