For those intending to participate on Sunday’s walk on 9th December ’07 to commemorate International Human Rights Day, let’s ask ourselves if we’re committing an offense.
The government states that without a permit, an assembly of more than five persons with the same intention is deemed illegal and therefore, will be subject to punitive actions according to the rule of law.
Edmund Bon, however, contend that “Licensed expression is not freedom of expression“.
We have heard through the MSM, various exhortations from the PM and his ministers, for citizens to respect the nation’s laws so that peace and stability can be maintained.
The laws of this country, purportedly democratic, are made (and therefore, can be rescinded) in Parliament. The present administration which won a landslide victory in 2004 based on AAB’s motto of ‘Work with me, not for me’ achieved a hugh mandate of over 90% or 198 parliamentary seats out of a possible 219, thereby, ensuring that any bill presented will have a certainty for approval. BN party members are not allowed to break ranks. BA party members are effectively inconsequential with their ‘selective’ dissenting rhetorics.
Out of the total popular votes of 6,916,138 in 2004, 4,420,452 (63.9%) went to BN while 2,495,776 (36.1%) were opposing in terms of parliamentary constituents. Note the disparity of parliamentary representations when you compare these percentages to the preceding paragraph. BN does this through delineation (or gerrymandering) i.e. a BN stronghold can be broken up into two areas which will contribute two seats in parliament. Inversely, a BA stronghold can be similarly dealt with to reduce support or merged with a BN dominant constituent to dilute BA’s strength. The BN government, based on its overwhelming parliamentary mandate can, for example, amend the Constitution to allow a retiring EC chairman to continue serving beyond the mandatory retirement age of 65. And you would think that amending the Constitution was for a greater purpose than just this.
These numbers have enormous dire consequences on how Malaysians are dealt with if an inept and incompetent person occupies the office of the Prime Minister. An Executive who governs without wisdom and unjustly will inherently unravel the Federal Constitution which is meant to protect the nation’s citizenry. An Executive who has no qualms in bailing out 191 UMNO divisions with RM600 million from government coffers, bought and then leased (huh?) a RM200 million VVIP jet with taxpayers’ monies, and inexplicably took a sailing sojourn down-under (go ask that Ferrari guy) when Johoreans were inundated with floodwaters at home do not deserve to be mandated as a PM.
On 26th September ’07, more than 2000 lawyers and others marched at Putrajaya without a permit and without incident.
On 10th November ’07, the 10-Eleveners walked without a permit and considering that more than 60,000 turned up, the event was only marred by the Masjid Jamek incident in which 10 persons were charged for assembling illegally.
On 25th November ’07, the Hindrafists had their day and we know how that turned out.
The AAB administration is running scared with the frequency of popular assemblies and will, henceforth, clam down hard on any dissenting voices using the full arsenal of restrictive laws which were passed in parliament through an Executive-controlled legislative. The judiciary seems to be in sixes and sevens, therefore, I doubt if they could mount a challenge to the Executive, even on an ubiquitous matter of a police permit for an assembly.
And BN want to do it on a day which, ironically, symbolises humanity’s effort to quantify freedom in its various forms and functions.
Do we step forward in civil disobedience to protect our universal right for freedom from oppression or do we obey the powers that be who have lost the moral right to govern?
That decision is yours to make. Indeed, you still have the freedom to do so. And if you do decide to disobey an unjust law, please do it civilly and with patriotic responsibility.