Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia calls on the authorities not to engage in selective prosecution when dealing with protests.
In response to the recent call for an assembly to converge on the Malaysia Day on September 16 under the name of, ‘Himpunan Maruah Melayu’ (Rally for Malay Dignity), Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) holds the following view:
- GBM is all for the right to dissent, without which democracy cannot exist.
- GBM believes only in peaceful assemblies as the idea of protest is to invite engagement, not to impose one’s position on others by means or threats of violence.
- GBM rejects demeaning forms of protests, whether it’s photo-stepping, burning of effigies or vulgar dancing. GBM sees this as in bad taste, which should be sanctioned by public opinon, not as crimes that should be punished by law.
- GBM asks the police to ensure no assembly intending or threatening to cause violence can be held. As the organisers of the 16 September rally is still adamant on holding it, the responsibility is now on the police to ensure public safety and order. The police must promise to investigate and move to charge anyone threatening violence under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation.
- GBM urges the police not to waste public funds to investigate and harass the participants of the Bersih 4 rally for wearing Bersih 4 yellow T-shirts and engagement in inappropriate forms of protest. The 11th hour ban of the Bersih 4 yellow T-shirts ridiculously makes the nation’s independence hollow. Selective prosecution will not eliminate inappropriate forms of protest but will instead only plant more seeds of discontent and disharmony. To promote more civil forms of expression of dissent, we need dialogues to promote respect and harmony.
Issued by the following member organisations of GBM:
1. All Women’s Action Society (Awam) 妇女行动协会
2. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS) 砂拉越青年之子
3. Engage 愿景工程组织
4. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) 回教复兴前线组织
5. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (Kami) 独立学生份子组织
6. Lim Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre (LLG) 林连玉基金
7. National Indian Rights Action Team (Niat) 全国印裔权益行动组织
8. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH) 森美兰中华大会堂
9. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran) 国民醒觉运动
10. Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (LiuHua)马来西亚留华同学会
11. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas) 雪隆社区协会
12. Pusat KOMAS 社区传播中心
13. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) 马来西亚之子
14. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) 人民之声
15. The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
16. United Chinese School alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
17. Tindak Malaysia (TM) 马来西亚行动组织
18. Tamil Foundation (TF) 淡米尔基金
8 September 2015