(Petaling Jaya, Friday): Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad held an illegal assembly at Putrajaya where he addressed a crowd of about 500 people from 13 Malay organisations after receiving a memorandum on the question of Malay special rights.
Speaking at the steps of his office at Putrajaya, he said:
Is the Police going to arrest and prosecute Mahathir for illegal assembly at Putrajaya to prove that it is impartial and even-handed in upholding the law and the the law is no respector of persons? Or is there one law for the Barisan Nasional leaders while a different one for the Barisan Alternative as far as the police is concerned. The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai, should make clear the police position on the illegal assembly staged by Mahathir in Putrajaya yesterday.
Although Mahathir had committed an offence for staging an illegal assembly and should be arrested and charged if everyone is equal before the law and the police is an independent and highly professional force , Mahathirís illegal assembly though peaceful and non-violent should be a new reminder of the need for the authorities to give full recognition and respect to the fundamental right of peaceful assembly in Malaysia, as had also been suggested by the Human Rights Commission recently.
I do not expect the police to arrest Mahathir and charge him in court for the offence of staging an illegal assembly at Putrajaya yesterday, but this special consideration that the police is according to the Prime Minister should be extended to all Malaysians.
I call on the Inspector-General of Police to make a policy announcement
that arising from Mahathirís illegal demonstration at Putrajaya yesterday,
the police would not obstruct or break up any peaceful assembly or demonstration
provided that the gathering remained peaceful and non-violent - just
as the Police has respected the fundamental right of Mahathir to
be involved in a peaceful assembly at Putrajaya yesterday.