Solidarity for Fadiah — Suara Rakyat Malaysia

JULY 17 — We are outraged and deeply concerned with the decision of PDRM to investigate activist Fadiah Nadwa Fikri under section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.

This follows a solidarity gathering that was held outside IPD Brickfields on the afternoon of Wednesday the 11th of July, where Fadiah was due to be questioned under section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act regarding an article she had written.

This first investigation was spurious enough, and the use of the archaic, draconian Sedition Act was certainly uncalled for. The fact that the police would take this a step further and thereafter open yet another investigation into what was clearly a peaceful gathering of concerned citizens defending their constitutional right to free speech is most deplorable. Furthermore, Fadiah was not even the organiser of the solidarity gathering that day, making the reasoning of the latest investigation even more suspect.

Malaysians throughout the nation have been filled with hope that May 9th marked the beginning of a genuinely new Malaysia - the Malaysia Baharu which we were promised. Unfortunately, these heavy handed actions of the police are anything but new, and are instead vividly reminiscent of Barisan Nasional era abuses of power and the use of unjust laws to oppress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and rights to assemble peacefully.

In Promise 27 of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, the Sedition Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, and Peaceful Assembly Act are all specifically mentioned and unambiguously earmarked for abolition or amendment.

If the government has any sincerity whatsoever regarding these promises, all government agencies - especially the police - should be properly briefed and prohibited from infringing on the rights of concerned Malaysians through these repressive laws until they have been repealed in Parliament.

We call for all these unnecessary investigations to be dropped immediately. We hope this new government is in fact new, and will back up their rhetoric with committed and decisive action. In these crucial early days, as the government sets the tone for its administration,  we hope to see a genuine departure from the old oppression, and a transition into a Malaysia where all ideas can be discussed peacefully and our constitutional rights exercised maturely.

Endorsees:

1. Women’s Aid Organisation

2. Association of Women Lawyers

3. Tenaganita

4. Sisters in Islam

5. GERAK

6. Pusat KOMAS

7. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)

8. SUARAM

9. Malaysia Muda

10. Aliran

11. Friends of Kota Damansara

12. ENGAGE

13. Society for the Promotion of Human Rights ( PROHAM)

14. EDICT

15. C4centre

16. Childline Malaysia

17. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor

18. Freedom Film Network

19. Justice for Sisters

20. People Like Us, Hang Out! (PLUHO)

21. QUASSA

22. HAKAM

23. Bersih 2.0

24. The KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Women Section

25. Women Development Organisation of Malaysia

26. North South Initiative

27. Writer Alliance for Media Independence

28. Centre for Independent Journalism

29. Tindak Malaysia

30. LLG

31. SABM

32. MCCBCHST

33. KLSCAH

34. All Women’s Action Society ( Awam)

35. Persatuan Sains Sosial Malaysia (PSSM)   

36. Community Action Network (CAN).

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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