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Wednesday, 12 August 2015


Peaceful demonstrations are a legitimate expression of citizens in democratic societies. While authorities and governments in some places impose restrictions however on the core foundations of human rights and constitutional rights ordinary people have the fundamental liberty to walk for a cause that they believe in.

Outstanding examples at the global level are the peaceful march by Gandhi in India and while they were peaceful the British colonial power often detained them and in some cases they were beaten and even killed during the Indian independence struggle.

In a similar way Martin Luther King organised peaceful demonstrations, organised prayers and singing during marches in his fight against racism in the United States. 

More recently at least 3.7 million people, including world leaders, marched in anti-terrorism rallies in Paris and elsewhere in France.

PROHAM therefore reaffirms the right of Malaysians to march for truth and integrity as in the case of Bersih 4. It is an opportunity for Malaysians to send a strong message to the national leaders especially the Cabinet and the ruling coalition that they have tremendous concerns with the state of affairs pertaining to the 1MDB investigations and that affected parties must take responsibility for their actions.

The peaceful march will also tell Malaysia authorities that there is a need for greater respect for the various institutions such as Parliament PAC, MACC, SUHAKAM so as to ensure their independence from the executive arm.

PROHAM calls on the Royal Malaysian Police to play its role in ensuring that these rights are not denied especially the right to peaceful marches and that PDRM should play a supporting role to protect the marches from any violence or harm as well as traffic control.

PROHAM indicates that it will play a monitoring role during Bersih 4 on August 29 and 30 by being on the ground as independent human rights monitors so as to document the  event and cite both compliance and denial of this right of expression through peaceful assembly.

PROHAM calls on the political leaders in the ruling party to adhere to human rights principles and values as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as Malaysia has adopted this declaration as its framework when Malaysia formulated the SUHAKAM Act.

Issued on behalf of Proham by:- 
Datuk Kuthubul Zaman (Chairman), Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam (Proham member), Datuk Mahadev Shankar (Proham Hon member), Mr Muhammad Sha'ani b. Abdullah (Proham Asst Secretary), Ms Ivy Josiah (Exco member) and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Secretary-General)

August 12, 2015

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