Backbenchers criticises police decision to block farmer’s march

THREE backbenchers have voiced their disagreement with the police’s decision to prevent a group of farmers from marching to Parliament to deliver their petition.

The incident occurred when a small group of farmers from Chemor, Perak, gathered at Tugu Negara to protest against their eviction for development purposes.

“If people want to demonstrate, hit the streets or submit a memorandum, let them do it. Give them space,” Bentong MP Young Syefura Othman tweeted last night (Sept 12).

Initially, government representatives had agreed to receive the farmers’ petition at Tugu Negara. However, tensions escalated when the farmers insisted on marching towards Parliament, despite attempts by the police to halt their progress.

Moreover, Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan and Bandar Kuching MP Kelvin Yii also criticised the handling of the incident, stating that they had voiced their disapproval to Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s office.

“At least allow them to march right up to the gate of Parliament, and if they want to come in, register like everyone. Our approach to public assemblies must change,” noted Syahredzan.

Yii echoed this sentiment, emphasising that anyone has the right to petition lawmakers and enter Parliament, provided the necessary requirements are fulfilled.

“There is no need for heavy-handed action on any peaceful action.”

Meanwhile, Dang Wangi police district chief Noor Dellhan Yahaya said in a statement last night that Parliament’s administration had arranged for the petition handover to take place at Tugu Negara.

Representatives from various government departments, including the Prime Minister’s Department and the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry met with the farmers, alongside parliamentarians like Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.

According to Noor Dellhan, the farmers disregarded police orders and continued their march towards Parliament, prompting the police to initiate a probe under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing civil servants from performing their duties. – Sept 13, 2023


Main photo credit: @Arul_PSM’s Twitter

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