Peaceful Assembly Act 2012
Malaysian Centre of Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR)
2b Human Rights
Problem Statement / Issue:
The Peaceful Assembly Act impedes the exercise of fundamental freedoms that are guaranteed in the Malaysian Constitution and protected by international human rights law. The law imposes overly burdensome requirements on assembly organizers that make effective freedom of assembly nearly impossible.
Value(s) and Belief(s):
Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution gives the liberty to every citizen to have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms. Peaceful protest empowers people to make their voices heard beyond the ballot box. It is a fundamental right and must be given the utmost protection. The Peaceful Assembly must be amended to ensure that it facilitates, rather than impedes, the right to peaceful assembly.
Proposal of Solution and Call to Action:
The Act must be amended to promote and protect the right to assemble peaceably and without arms guaranteed under Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution. The amendment will give full effect to the exercise and enjoyment of such right to provide legal, reasonable and proportionate restrictions deemed necessary or expedient relating to such democratic right in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof or public order/health, including the protection of the rights and freedoms of other persons. The proposed solution must encompass the amendments decriminalizing children and non-citizens who participate in peaceful assembly, reduce the duration required to notify authorities regarding the peaceful assembly, and allow spontaneous assembly.
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