Press Statement

14 September 2015

16 September protest likely to be anything but peaceful

Lawyers for Liberty views with extreme concern the upcoming “anti-Bersih” protest on 16 September dubbed “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” or “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” that has been widely publicised and shared on social media including posters with slogans like “Tanah Tumpahnya Darah Ku” depicting martial art poses or use of weapons.


The protest organised by various Malay rights groups and seemingly endorsed by Umno is a blatant act of bullying and intimidation intended to inflame the relationship between Malays and non-Malays. We urge all parties to act with caution and not fall for such underhanded and dangerous tactics to divide Malays and non-Malays by sowing distrust and fomenting a siege mentality.
While we uphold the rights of all citizens to protest peacefully including the rights of the protesters, to speak and assemble freely without the hazards of oppressive laws like the Sedition Act and the Peaceful Assembly Act, we abhor the planned protest that is likely to be anything but peaceful – a racially charged protest that is clearly designed to provoke, intimidate and bully the non-Malays.


We wish to remind the authorities that Malaysia is a country governed by the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land where the rights of the minority is equally protected and not subservient to the rights of the majority.


We therefore call on the authorities to maintain vigilance and to take all law enforcement measures necessary to prevent any untoward incident like the racially motivated riots at Low Yat Plaza in July – a likely scenario to be repeated given the fact that the protest sites include Bukit Bintang and Petaling Street.


Released by:

Eric Paulsen

Executive Director

Lawyers for Liberty


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