KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Yesterday, police announced that they plan to call 29 participants of #Kita Lawan rally held on 31 July 2021. It is believed that eleven of them have been summoned to the Dang Wangi Police Station today. I am sure after today’s MPs gathering at Dataran Merdeka, another list will be out and more work for the police.

It is time the police and the AG reconsider Police SOP and do away with this obsolete practice.

The irony is this whole exercise is a waste of police time and is a bureaucratic glitch which does not do anyone any good. For a start public assemblies are open and shut cases. If the Police feels that an offence has been committed, they can go straight into charging the offenders since the entire assembly is recorded by the police.

In the current practice, the police will lodge their own report to stimulate an investigation where in most cases, the activist will say they will speak in court during statement taking.  Prior to that, these people will have to be issued with 111 notices which needs to be served personally on each of them.  After that, the police has to arrange officers from the rank of Inspector or above to record statements. Only then it goes to the DPP. Why not the police short circuit this whole procedure by sending to the DPP where they really think there was serious violation of the law since they already recorded the assembly.

In the latest #Kita Lawan  rally, SUHAKAM has already come forward and said that the protest assembly was well organized and protestants followed strict SOP. If there was a SOP offence committed, the police can immediately compound the person on spot and if the person wants to dispute this, a court case will proceed. Again why do we need an investigation conducted to check on if SOP is violated or not? This is again another open and shut situation.    

When the Peaceful Assemble Act (PAA) 2012 was enacted, the Government stated its commitment to keep up with the Freedom of Assembly as stipulated under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution as well as keep with the International standards. But by summoning activist each time an assembly takes place, gives an impression that it is political motivated towards curbing  our  freedom of assemble as guaranteed by our constitution.

It is time the new IGP put forward a new sets of SOP for Public Assemblies which I am sure his own officers will be relieved without the burden of investigations on such assemblies and they can focus on crime busting.