Press statement: 4 January 2012
SUARAM Urges Police to End Intimidation on The People of Malaysia!
SUARAM strongly condemns any attempt by the police or the ruling party to stop the rally ‘901 Free Anwar Campaign’ in Kuala Lumpur to be held on Monday. SUARAM urges the police, ministers and the government under the Najib administration to allow people of Malaysia to practice their fundamental human rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim embarks on a nationwide tour ahead of a verdict in his long-running sodomy trial, to declare his innocence and campaign for a change of government. Ahead of the 9th January verdict which could see Anwar jailed for up to 20 years.
Dirty tactics to Stop Fundamental Liberties
SUARAM wants the police and the government to stop all the harassment to stop the people from practicing their fundamental liberties. The government is clearly using the police force to intimidate supporters of Anwar Ibrahim who are calling for free and transparent judiciary system in Malaysia and expecting the Malaysian court to give verdict on the basis of justice.
SUARAM also condemns the lodging of police reports against organisers of the 9th January rally as another tactic to provoke the police to take actions against the organisers. We hope the police will be seen neutral and wouldn’t react by listening to one side.
The Way Forward
We would like to remind the Prime Minister that the right to freedom of expression and opinion is constitutionally guaranteed. These rights are also granted by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Malaysia is bound to uphold as a signatory. This is the international embarrassment that Najib Razak failed to avoid when he clamped down on BERSIH 2.0.
The real test of democracy is to always and at all times create the platform for dissenting opinions. Let the people democratically exercise their constitutional rights and express their hearts and minds on what they believe in.
Do not stop the peaceful protests as upheld by the Federal Constitution. Do not deny them of their fundamental rights! These rights affirm the power of the people to uphold democracy and to hold the role of check and balance against abuse by government officials.