Press Release from Bersih 2.0
Dated : 13th November 2019
WITHDRAW REQUIREMENT FOR POLICE PERMIT FOR DOOR-TO-DOOR CAMPAIGNING
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) questions the condition set by the Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) that require candidates for Tanjung Piai by-election to apply for police permit for door-to-door campaigning.
We call on the Election Commission (EC) as the highest body for electoral management to reject the proposed condition set by PDRM as they are not based on the law and restrict the freedom to campaign. There has never been such restriction in the history of elections in Malaysia.
Bersih 2.0 wishes to remind the EC and all that it is mandated by the Federal Constitution to request assistance from public authorities to assist the conduct of elections as provided in the Article 115(2):
“All public authorities shall on the request of the Commission give the Commission such assistance in the discharge of its duties as may be practicable,…”
The police could not go beyond the limit set out in Section 24B, Election Offences Act 1954 which states that the candidate only need to obtain permit from the police if he wishes to organise any meetings, rally, display, or such entertainment involving speeches or lectures.
It is unreasonable for PDRM to impose unnecessary rules to restrict the campaigning methods of a candidate, more so when the rules are set midway of the campaigning period. With the short campaign period, the requirement to apply for door-to-door campaign is unreasonable and unfair for the candidates.
Given that there is no need for police permits to assemble under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, it is very unreasonable to propose a police permit to campaign from door-to-door.
In fact, Bersih 2.0 proposes that provisions on the need for police permits for political talks in the Election Offences Act 1954 be abolished in accordance with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
Bersih 2.0, once again, urges the PDRM and the EC to revoke this requirement and allow the Tanjung Piai by-election candidates the freedom to campaign in whatever way they feel is necessary as long as they adhere to the Election Offences Act 1954 and other related laws.
Bersih 2.0 Steering Committee
Image credit : Harian Metro