KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer has hit out at the government after police summoned several people who attended a women’s rally in front of Sogo and Dataran Merdeka yesterday.
Zaid Malek maintained that every person should have the right to peaceful assembly, saying this was in line with the Federal Constitution.
“Anwar Ibrahim’s (Pakatan Harapan coalition) made its way (into the government) with the promises of reforms, but where are they?” he told reporters outside the Dang Wangi police headquarters here today.
He pointed out that this was the second peaceful assembly that was being investigated by the police in two days, and the government has been silent on the matter.
Six participants from the Women’s March Malaysia had their statements taken by the police earlier.
Kirath KS, 36, claimed that the group had given prior notice to the police about the rally.
“It was a peaceful protest where people spoke about women’s issues which are important to them. Instead of listening to what they have to say, we are being investigated and made to feel intimidated,” she said.
Another lawyer, Rajesh Nagarajan, said he was “absolutely livid” that his client, who is also a lawyer, had been called in by the police to give a statement.
He called on the Bar Council to speak up, saying he had already made a report on the issue to the Selangor Bar.
“I will also be calling the Malaysian Bar Council. It is not right to drag lawyers into a police station,” he said, claiming that his client was merely monitoring the rally.
Yesterday, Dang Wangi police chief Noor Dellhan Yahaya said an investigation paper had been opened into the assembly which involved 150 people, including human rights activists, university students and members of political parties.
Noor Dellhan said the rally did not follow the provisions of the law and that investigations would be carried out under the Peaceful Assembly Act and Minor Offences Act.
During the rally, participants had held placards which contained slogans such as “Imagine if men are as disgusted with rapes as with periods”, “Child not bride”, “Transwomen are women”, and “Police your behaviour, not my body”.