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Remind police rallies don't need permits, says Maria Chin
Published on: Monday, March 04, 2024
By: FMT
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Remind police rallies don't need permits, says Maria Chin
Maria Chin Abdullah said the police must also be retrained in dealing with assemblies.
PETALING JAYA: A former PKR MP has urged the home ministry and Inspector-General of Police Razarudin Husain to educate the police that permits are no longer required for rallies.

Former Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), organisers are only required to notify the officer in charge of the relevant police district about an intended assembly.

“The police have no authority under the PAA to refuse the assembly. It must be stressed that the need for a ‘police permit’ is no longer applicable under the PAA.

“It is time that the police familiarise themselves with the act,” the former Bersih chairman said in a statement.

Maria’s remarks came after reports that the police had rejected notices four times from the organisers of the Women’s March Malaysia (WMMY) 2024, which is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur this weekend.

WMMY organises marches annually to commemorate International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8, and to advocate gender rights. This year’s march is set for this Saturday, March 9, near the Sogo shopping complex.

The organisers said they will attempt to submit another notice to the police today at the Dang Wangi police headquarters .

Maria, who led two iconic Bersih rallies in the past, said the police’s refusal to accept the notice is unacceptable.

“Furthermore, I strongly recommend that the police be trained again in dealing with assemblies as well as have a much more complete understanding of what human rights mean in a democratic society,” she said.

Since the introduction of the PAA, the police have consistently maintained that police “permits” must be obtained before protests can proceed.

However, several civil society groups have argued that the police lack the authority to deny an assembly, as they are only required to be notified of such events, according to the PAA.

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