We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn in the strongest possible terms the police’s post rally persecution of the participants of the Labour Day Rally in opposition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST), using the unruly behaviour of a small group of alleged anarchists as a pretext.
The police have cast a wider net beyond those who were allegedly in possession and release of smoke bombs. At least 29 young persons were arrested in the first round and 23 of them were remanded for three more days.
Completely unrelated to the smoke bomb allegation, a number of leading activists and lawmakers were either arrested after being summoned to the police station or were simply stopped and arrested by the police.
These include former Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, Seremban MP Anthony Loke; Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary general S Arutchelvan, Kuala Krai Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Batu MP Tian Chua, activists Hishamuddin Rais and Mandeep Singh.
We hold that:
- The May Day Rally was a peaceful event and the Government should stop shifting attention to the isolated incidents which occurred during the rally.
- The Government should recognise that the turnout in the May Day Rally against GST is an indication that the policy is overwhelmingly burdening the rakyat when corruption, leakage and mismanagement are rampant and that GST must be halted for review if not abolished straightaway.
- PDRM must respect the rights of Malaysians to participate in peaceful assemblies and employ best crowd control practices as displayed by the police force elsewhere in the modern world.
- PDRM must stop all post-rally harassment and release all the innocent protesters immediately.
- The long overdue Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) must be established the as soon as possible to curb the abuse and politicisation of police power.
Issued by the following civil society organisations:
1. All Women’s Action Society (Awam)
2. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
3. Angkatan Warga Aman Malaysia (WargaAman)
5. Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BiPiM)
6. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAS)
7. Coalition of Kelantan NGO (C-KNGO)
8. Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (Prima)
9. Institute for Development of Alternative Living, Sarawak (Ideal)
10. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
11. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
12. Japan Graduates Association Malaysia (Jagam)
13. Jawatankuasa Bertindak Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator (TN-Insinerator)
14. Jihad for Justice (JfJ)
15. Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
16. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiwa Indepent (KmiAMI)
17. LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
18. Malaysia Youth & Students’ Democratic Movement (Dema)
19. Malaysian Indians Progressive Association (Mipas)
20. Malaysian Indians Transformation Action Team (Mitra)
21. Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility (MPSR)
22. Malaysian Youth Care Association (Prihatain)
23. Muslim Professionala Forum (MPF)
24. National Indian Rights Action Team ( Niat)
25. National Human Rights Society (Hakam)
26. Oriental Hearts and Mind Study Institute (OHMSI)
27. Partners for Community Organisaiton Sabah (Pacos)
28. People’s Welfare and Rights Organisation (Power)
29. Perak Women for Women Society (PWW)
30. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
31. Persatuan Alumni PBTUSM KL & Selangor (PBTUSM)
32. Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kelej di China, Malaysia (LiuHua)
33. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
34. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur (Prihatin)
35. Persatuan Rapat Malaysia (Rapat)
36. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (Permas)
37. Projek dialog (PD)
38. Pusat Komas (Komas)
39. Saccess Sarawak (Saccess)
40. Sahabat Rakyat (SR)
41. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
42. Save Rivers (SR)
43. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
44. The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham)
45. Tindak Malaysia (TM)
46. Tamil Foundation Malaysia (TFM)
47. Tamilar Action Force (TAF)
48. United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
49. We Are Malaysians (WAM)
50. We Are One Race – Human Race (WAOR)
51. Women’s Centre for Change, Penang (WCC)