Deputy home minister suggests possible review of assembly law

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said the amendments to the PAA will be tabled in Parliament soon. — Picture via facebook/Mohd Aziz bin Jamman
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman said the amendments to the PAA will be tabled in Parliament soon. — Picture via facebook/Mohd Aziz bin Jamman

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — Deputy Home Minister Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman indicated today that his ministry would propose amending the 10-day notice provision in the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.

However, the Sepanggar MP refused to divulge information on the matter and told reporters to await the official announcement by Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“One of the Bills that we will table is amendments to the PAA. Just wait for it.

“Let it be a surprise,” Azis told reporters in Parliament when pressed for details.

The PAA was formulated as a replacement to Section 27 of Police Act 1967, effectively abolishing the need for police permits to hold assemblies.

However, it requires organisers to still notify their district police at least 10 days before the event.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim yesterday claimed the organisers of the International Women’s Day march last weekend did not fulfil this requirement and will be called up.

The event became controversial due to the expressed support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) during the march.

Participants included members of Women’s Aid Organisation and Sisters in Islam, activists, students and various people from all across Malaysia.

Today, Azis joined critics of the event and expressed disappointment that it was used to defend the LGBT.

He also said the organisers did not inform authorities about the LGBT element.

“Had they mentioned it in their application that they are going to have an assembly for LGBTs, the ministry would not have approved.

When it was pointed out that the march was not an LGBT parade, he insisted it was still abusive of the process.

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