Stop intimidation, violence against social and political activism

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Seventy civil society groups have issued a joint statement condemning the recent incidents of political violence and intimidation in the country.

joint press conference condemns political intimidation
End the intimidation, urge NGOs - Photograph: llgcultural.com

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, express our grave concern over the series of attacks on legitimate and democratic events organised by social movements and opposition parties.

These acts of hooliganism at events such as the Penang Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally, ABU (Anything but Umno) forums, Nurul Izzah’s ceramah at Gambang, Pahang, and the attack on Anwar Ibrahim’s car in Sembrong, Johor, among others, are indicative of a dangerous trend in our society

We are alarmed by this worrisome trend as we strongly believe that this is “contrived violence” in the context of the upcoming 13th General Election. It is symptomatic of an unhealthy ambience of civil and political of intimidation and violence to suppress what should otherwise be a free and democratic flow of ideas, discourses and political options.

The unwillingness of the authorities to act promptly and decisively will only encourage the perpetrators to step up their gangsterism, which makes it more rampant, widespread and spin out of control. This will potentially undermine the very basis of our democratic way of life as enshrined in the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara. The damage in the eyes of the global community of nations would be incalculable!

We call upon the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to immediately call an end to these shameful mob attacks by reprimanding the police force that has abdicated its responsibility to maintain public order. The Minister of Home Affairs should similarly be taken to task for his inaction in the face of these public displays of hooliganism by third parties in otherwise peaceful civil assemblies .

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The PM must institute thorough investigations into the series of incidents of violence, which were allegedly orchestrated by unscrupulous elements within our body politic. For a start, the police officers who failed to protect the people assembled at the Penang Esplanade must be suspended pending a full and fair investigation.

The PM must realise that the buck stops with him. If the political violence continues due to the alleged impunity granted by the police, the PM will be perceived as being complicit in these acts of violence and intimidations.

We also renew our call to immediately establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) recommended by the Royal Commission on PDRM in 2005. The competency and professionalism of the police force is in serious doubt. People are fast losing faith in our police force. The Prime Minister must therefore put the IPCMC in place before the 13th General Election to show his sincerity in safeguarding our democratic rights and to nip in the bud, the political violence that potentially threatens the very fabric of our nation.

We nonetheless commend the authorities for facilitating the peaceful assembly of Himpunan Hijau 2.0 at Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Tawau.

We unreservedly support the constitutional right of the People to peaceful assembly. We call upon the government to uphold the Constitution and to respect the democratic rights of the People to organise events such as the proposed Himpunan Hijau 3.0 and any future assemblies. The onus is on the government to provide the democratic space for People to gather peaceably and to protect them from intimidation and violence, at all times.

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Endorsed by (updated till 11.00am, 2 March 2012):

  1. Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
  2. Aliran
  3. Tamil Foundation
  4. Pertubuhan Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM)
  5. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
  6. Penang Chinese Town Hall (PGCTH)
  7. Lim Lian Geok Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
  8. United Chinese School Alumni Association of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
  9. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
  10. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  11. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
  12. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  13. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)
  14. National Indian Advancement Team (NIAT)
  15. People’s Green Coalition (PGC)
  16. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
  17. All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  18. Centre of Policy Initiative (CPI)
  19. Japan Graduates’ Association of Malaysia (JAGAM)
  20. The Good Governance and Gender Equality Society, Penang (3Gs)
  21. Tenaganita
  22. Lawyers for Liberty (L4L)
  23. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
  24. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (PSWS)
  25. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
  26. Persatuan Bekas Murid-Murid Perempuan Cina Sekolah Tinggi Pulau Pinang, Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
  27. Community Action Network (CAN)
  28. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
  29. Education and Research Association for Consumers, Malaysia (ERA Consumer)
  30. Rainbow Genders Society (RGS)
  31. Persatuan Alumni Han Chian Pulau Pinang (PAHC, Pinang)
  32. Kill the Bill (KtB)
  33. Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
  34. Pahlawan Volunteers
  35. The Micah Mandate
  36. Friends in Conversation (FIC)
  37. Centre for Independent Journalism (CPI)
  38. Negeri Sembilan Chinese School Committees’ Council
  39. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur (PRIHATIN)
  40. Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM)
  41. Malacca Chinese Education Progressive Association
  42. Malaysians for Beng Hock
  43. Save Vui Kong Campaign
  44. Council of Temples
  45. Semparuthi Iyakkam
  46. Academy of Tamil Studies
  47. Group of Concerned Citizens
  48. Hindu Youth Organization
  49. Tamil Bell Club
  50. Malaysian Dravidian Movement
  51. Persatuan Kwangsi Malaysia
  52. The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Foundry & Engineering Industries Association
  53. The Selangor And Kuala Lumpur Teo Chew Association
  54. Malaysia Youth and Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
  55. Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju UPM
  56. Student Progressive Front USM
  57. Student Progressive Front UUM
  58. New Era Student Progressive Front
  59. New Era College Alumni Association
  60. Solidarity for Civil Rights in China
  61. Editorial board of e-journal Horizon
  62. Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall
  63. Melaka Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section
  64. Persatuan Kwang Tung Melaka (Youth Section)
  65. Melaka Seng Cheong Society Youth Section
  66. Malacca Pay Fong Schools Alumni Association
  67. Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce
  68. Durham Malaysian Scholars
  69. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM Selangor & KL
  70. Sisters in Islam (SIS)
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Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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