Police rejection of AWAM’s application
to hold a public gathering on rape and violence unjustified and
by Fong Po Kuan
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The decision by the police to reject the application by All Women Action Movement (AWAM) to hold a public gathering on rape and violence in Bangsar for security reasons is unjustified and regrettable.
There is no reason why the police should disallow a peaceful gathering on a non-political issue such as rape and violence especially when the AWAM campaign entitled “Citizen Against Rape: Make Public Places Safe – Towards A Violence-Free Community” is a peaceful one aimed at creating greater public awareness and mobilizing wider public participation to combat violence against women.
By right, the police should have extended their support and cooperation to AWAM to organize the public rally in Bangsar. The police refusal to grant permit for the event not only reflects poorly on them but also implies that the Malaysian public are not capable of gathering peacefully to express solidarity on an issue of collective concern which is most offensive and insulting to say the least.
The DAP will continue to lend support to AWAM’s effort to combat rape and violence, an issue which demands urgent attention in view of the escalating incidences of such phenomena of late. MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and I, together with other DAP and DAPSY leaders will be present at the public gathering at the Mid-Valley Exhibition Centre on Sunday to and we urge the public to come in full force to express their abhorrence of crimes of rape and violence.
* Fong Po Kuan, MP for Batu Gajah and DAP National Assistant Publicity Secretary