KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — Criminal investigations should not be initiated against the International Women’s Day March organisers just because of participation from representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, a Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal lawmaker said today.
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh reminded PH leaders that many of their colleagues had faced similar police treatment over participation in peaceful assemblies before they became the government.
“They were at the event to further various common causes with the rest of the participants and to celebrate an international occasion calling for the end of the marginalisation and victimisation of certain groups and gender and sexual-orientation based violence, amongst others.
“Pakatan Harapan must be better than BN in this regard and I urge the authorities to end these unnecessary investigations into the matter,” he said in a statement.
Calling the investigations regrettable and unnecessary, Ramkarpal said there were no reasons to further prolong the matter as he believed the organisers had complied with the 10-day notice requirement which was adequately explained to the authorities.
On March 15, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun maintained that the organisers had not followed proper procedure in accordance to the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
It was also reported that the organisers were being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948.
“The possibility that the organisers of the event may be charged under the Sedition Act is most disturbing to say the least as the PH government has committed to abolish the said Act,” Ramkarpal added.
He pointed out that the organisers have adamantly stated they have provided a notice to the authorities despite the police saying otherwise and raised questions as to the bona fides of the said investigation.
“The confusion is further compounded by lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijhar’s claim that none of the questions had anything to do with the issue of whether the notice was given,” he said.
Gurdial represented one of the three organisers questioned by Dang Wangi police yesterday for their involvement in the march held on March 9.