KUALA LUMPUR: Police summoned two activists to the Dang Wangi police headquarters today over a protest that took place at Parliament on March 22.
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) coordinator Wong Yan Ke and the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) chairman Thomas Fann said they had their statements recorded on the peaceful protest they held against the proposed Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC).
During the protest, they also called on the government to expedite the tabling of the anti-hopping bill in Parliament.
“I think it’s a waste of police resources and time for us to be called in.
“This (the peaceful protest) should be the norm in a democracy. An NGO representing the people should have the right to come to Parliament to submit a memorandum and hold a peaceful assembly,” Fann told the media outside Dang Wangi police headquarters.
He urged the government to review the police standard operating procedures in regards to peaceful assembly so their action would not be seen as harassment of the civil groups’ right to gather peacefully and engage with politicians.
“It should be part and parcel of democracy,” he said.
Two days after the protest, law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar announced that the anti-party hopping bill would be tabled at a special parliamentary sitting on April 11.
Fann stressed that without the anti-hopping law, the people would lose confidence in politicians and that there was a possibility that some citizens would not exercise their right to vote in the next polls.
Wong claimed that a memorandum rejecting IPCC had been supported by 55 civil groups and that 200,000 Malaysians had signed a petition rejecting IPCC.
“I hope the MPs listen to the people’s voices. Please retract the IPCC bill and engage the civil groups to discuss a more accountable, transparent and independent system.
“We want an independent body which has the power to investigate and take action,” Wong said.
Then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin had tabled the IPCC Bill in the Dewan Rakyat in August 2020 but critics had said the IPCC was a watered-down version of the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).