KUALA LUMPUR: Two politicians and a student activist were charged at a magistrates’ court here with failing to notify police over protest gatherings held in the city centre last month.
The three – Amanah youth chief Hasbie Muda, Batu PKR youth chief Muhd Sabda Suluh Lestari Yahya and student activist Aliff Naif Mohd Fizam – were the organisers of three separate gatherings.
Hasbie pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to him before magistrate Wong Chai Sia.
The charge read that he failed to notify the Dang Wangi police five days before staging the gathering at Masjid Jamek, Kampung Baru, on July 1, which was deemed an offence under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.
Hasbie was allowed bail of RM3,000. The magistrate set Sept 22 for case mention.
At another magistrates’ court, Sabda pleaded not guilty before magistrate Azahra Arifin to a similar charge over a protest held in front of Sogo shopping complex on July 9.
He was allowed bail of RM7,000. The court fixed Sept 28 for case mention.
Meanwhile, Aliff too pleaded not guilty at a magistrates’ court to a similar charge over a protest in front of Sogo on July 23.
Aliff, who is the student union representative of the International Islamic University Malaysia, was allowed bail of RM3,000 by magistrate S Mageswary.
The court set Sept 21 for case mention.
If convicted, the three men could be fined a maximum of RM10,000.
Meanwhile, PKR youth exco member P Prabakaran said police action against the three men went against Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which deals with the right to freedom of speech and expression, as well as the right to form associations.
“If speaking for the people leads to someone being charged, I’m sure more youths will step forward to question this government.
“The Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 has often been used as an excuse to suppress activists’ voices,” he said.