Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin wants firm police action against a group calling itself Hindraf which is reported to be trying to hold a mass rally this Sunday.
He said that Hindraf, the Hindu Rights Action Force, had been banned and using or championing its name was in itself an offence.
“They (planners) know that they would need permission from the police (for such a rally),” he told reporters here.
Muhyiddin said it was up to police to “shape” the action to be taken, but they have to be firm against such activity as a rally by a banned organisation.
It is important for the deputy prime minister to get his facts right. First, the right to a peaceful assembly is guaranteed by the federal constitution. If members of the Indian community would like to hold a peaceful assembly to voice out their opposition against the controversial Interlok book they are acting within their constitutional rights to do.
The police is not above the law. The action of the police must be bounded and limited by what is allowed within the highest law of the land - the federal constitution. The police should facilitate and control the peaceful demonstration so that it does not become too emotional or a threat to public safety.
Muhyiddin's call for a stern police action is actually unconstitutional.
Second, if Hindraf has been banned by the government why are groups such as Perkasa are still allowed to hold their meetings, talks and demonstrations?
I must reiterate that I do not support race based organisations but the government must be consistent in its action.
Hence, I would like to advice Muhyiddin - for his and his party's own sake - to stop acting like a legal thug and an autocratic leader who continues to trample on the rule of law. It does not make Muhyiddin looks gungho or smart calling for a stern police action against the Hindraf peaceful demonstration.
Let it be if PM Najib really want other Muslim nations to follow the example of Malaysia. It is precise acting the same way like Muhyiddin now - trampling on the basic rights of the people - that decades old regimes/autocracies have been defeated and dismantled by the people's power.
Muhyiddin should appreciate that sometimes less is more. Yes, talk less and contribute more.