Imposing Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for Election Campaign Unwarranted and Undermine Free and Fair Election

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is shocked by the brazen attitude of the Perak Chief of Police, Hasnan Hassan on the matter of permits for the upcoming election campaign.

A free and fair election is the foundation of any democratic nation and an election would not be free and fair if the state were to impose harsh conditions on political candidates and their supporters for their campaigns. The Election Offences Act 1954 which provides for the need of a permit for any campaign while not ideal and undermines the constitutional rights afforded under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution has been manageable with the positive support by the Royal Malaysian Police in ensuring a swift procedure for all candidates to secure the necessary permit.

It is shocking and disappointing that the Perak Chief of Police fails to extend the Royal Malaysian Police’s commitment on the matter with his claims that any other candidate from different constituency would need a 10-days’ notice under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for any campaign; and his advice to candidates against marching with their supporter on nomination day.

SUARAM would like to remind the Perak Chief of Police that the Election Offences Act 1954 does not disallow the participation of other candidates in another constituency. The claim of having such a rule by the Perak Chief of Police can only be described as a folly as it is not stated as such by the law and any and all political party would be receiving help from their party members which would also be candidates in their own right.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

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