Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Bad and Oppressive Law in the Making

I refer to the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 that was just tabled in Parliament for debate. The PAB is drafted to replace the recently repealed Police Act 1967. Its successor is expected to accommodate the open and liberal society that is becoming the norm in every civilized and developed nations. Even the middle eastern nations that faced recent public demonstrations over the dictatorial regimes and overthrew some of them is proof that public dissent against injustice, real or perceived, cannot be contained by law and force should they reach a momentum that reel into a test of might. Many a government have been defeated by sheer objection and overpowering of the people power. How on earth can this government dare come forth with the PAB which restrict and constrict the right and freedom to congregate is mind boggling and regressive. If we ever want to claim a developed status in 9 years or so, tabling the PAB is a ill-conceived attempt by the present government to gain public support. If passed unchanged the PAB will send the nation back to the days when our movements are policed, or rather the police decides who has privileged assemblies and who doesn't. The impact is on every citizen.

THIS is the view of a very well respected lawyer. Another constructive view from the Bar Council HERE. I think we should protest against such a bill before it gets past the 2nd reading unchanged.

Update: at 3pm on November 26 I read HERE that the government, under heavy pressure and threats of public demonstrations, agree to amend the Bill. This show the government did not draft the Bill carefully and shows its weakness in succumbing to public pressure. Now, what we await is what changes will be made and if they be again amended?

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