PETALING JAYA: Civil society organisations staged a protest today to defend the right to freedom of expression in the wake of the anti-fake news emergency ordinance that came into force last week.
A 15-strong flash mob, representing members of the Freedom of Expression Cluster, a coalition of NGOs with an interest in defending free speech, marched from Taman Tugu along Jalan Parlimen until nearly the entrance to Parliament house.
“We decided to organise today’s event to reclaim our civic space and object to the ‘fake news’ ordinance adopted by the government,” said Wathshlah Naidu, executive director of the Centre for Independent Journalism.
“The vagueness and broad punitive nature of this ordinance marks the latest in the government’s attempts to stifle dissent and silence critics,” she told FMT.
The demonstration lasted about half an hour, with police arriving nearly half way through, but they only watched as social distancing was maintained and the number was kept to a manageable level.