Seventy civil society groups have issued a joint statement condemning the recent incidents of political violence and intimidation in the country.
We, the undersigned civil society organisations, express our grave concern over the series of attacks on legitimate and democratic events organised by social movements and opposition parties.
These acts of hooliganism at events such as the Penang Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally, ABU (Anything but Umno) forums, Nurul Izzah’s ceramah at Gambang, Pahang, and the attack on Anwar Ibrahim’s car in Sembrong, Johor, among others, are indicative of a dangerous trend in our society
We are alarmed by this worrisome trend as we strongly believe that this is “contrived violence” in the context of the upcoming 13th General Election. It is symptomatic of an unhealthy ambience of civil and political of intimidation and violence to suppress what should otherwise be a free and democratic flow of ideas, discourses and political options.
The unwillingness of the authorities to act promptly and decisively will only encourage the perpetrators to step up their gangsterism, which makes it more rampant, widespread and spin out of control. This will potentially undermine the very basis of our democratic way of life as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara. The damage in the eyes of the global community of nations would be incalculable!
We call upon the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to immediately call an end to these shameful mob attacks by reprimanding the police force that has abdicated its responsibility to maintain public order. The Minister of Home Affairs should similarly be taken to task for his inaction in the face of these public displays of hooliganism by third parties in otherwise peaceful civil assemblies .
The PM must institute thorough investigations into the series of incidents of violence, which were allegedly orchestrated by unscrupulous elements within our body politic. For a start, the police officers who failed to protect the people assembled at the Penang Esplanade must be suspended pending a full and fair investigation.
The PM must realise that the buck stops with him. If the political violence continues due to the alleged impunity granted by the police, the PM will be perceived as being complicit in these acts of violence and intimidations.
We also renew our call to immediately establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by the Royal Commission on PDRM in 2005. The competency and professionalism of the police force is in serious doubt. People are fast losing faith in our police force. The Prime Minister must therefore put the IPCMC in place before the 13th General Election to show his sincerity in safeguarding our democratic rights and to nip in the bud, the political violence that potentially threatens the very fabric of our nation.
We nonetheless commend the authorities for facilitating the peaceful assembly of Himpunan Hijau 2.0 at Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Tawau.
We unreservedly support the constitutional right of the People to peaceful assembly. We call upon the government to uphold the Constitution and to respect the democratic rights of the People to organise events such as the proposed Himpunan Hijau 3.0 and any future assemblies. The onus is on the government to provide the democratic space for People to gather peaceably and to protect them from intimidation and violence, at all times.
Endorsed by (updated till 11.00am, 2 March 2012):
- Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
- Tamil Foundation
- Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM)
- Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
- Penang Chinese Town Hall (PGCTH)
- Lim Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
- United Chinese School Alumni Association of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
- Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
- Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
- Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
- Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
- Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)
- National Indian Advancement Team (NIAT)
- People’s Green Coalition (PGC)
- Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
- All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
- Centre of Policy Initiative (CPI)
- Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia (JAGAM)
- The Good Governance and Gender Equality Society, Penang (3Gs)
- Lawyers for Liberty (L4L)
- Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
- Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS)
- Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
- Persatuan Bekas Murid-Murid Perempuan Cina Sekolah Tinggi Pulau Pinang, Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
- Community Action Network (CAN)
- Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
- Education and Research Association for Consumers, Malaysia (ERA Consumer)
- Rainbow Genders Society (RGS)
- Persatuan Alumni Han Chian Pulau Pinang (PAHC, Pinang)
- Kill the Bill (KtB)
- Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
- Pahlawan Volunteers
- The Micah Mandate
- Friends in Conversation (FIC)
- Centre for Independent Journalism (CPI)
- Negeri Sembilan Chinese School Committees’ Council
- Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur (PRIHATIN)
- Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM)
- Malacca Chinese Education Progressive Association
- Malaysians for Beng Hock
- Save Vui Kong Campaign
- Council of Temples
- Semparuthi Iyakkam
- Academy of Tamil Studies
- Group of Concerned Citizens
- Hindu Youth Organization
- Tamil Bell Club
- Malaysian Dravidian Movement
- Persatuan Kwangsi Malaysia
- The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Foundry & Engineering Industries Association
- The Selangor And Kuala Lumpur Teo Chew Association
- Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
- Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju UPM
- Student Progressive Front USM
- Student Progressive Front UUM
- New Era Student Progressive Front
- New Era College Alumni Association
- Solidarity for Civil Rights in China
- Editorial board of e-journal Horizon
- Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall
- Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section
- Persatuan Kwang Tung Melaka (Youth Section)
- Melaka Seng Cheong Society Youth Section
- Malacca Pay Fong Schools Alumni Association
- Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce
- Durham Malaysian Scholars
- Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Selangor & KL
- Sisters in Islam (SIS)