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Friday, August 28, 2015

No law broken by wearing Bersih shirt, says retired judge

Fromer Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram says Printing Presses and Publications Act does not include T-shirts in its definition of the word 'publications'. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 28, 2015.Fromer Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram says Printing Presses and Publications Act does not include T-shirts in its definition of the word 'publications'. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 28, 2015.

Bersih 4's yellow T-shirt does not come within the definition of "publication" in the Printing Presses and Publications Act, and rally goers would not flout the law wearing it, a retired Federal Court judge said.

Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, however, said  participants could flout the law for carrying rally materials like placards or pamphlets with Bersih 4 printed on them.

"Publication must be either in the form of print or electronic media in permanent or temporary form," he told The Malaysian Insider.

He was responding to Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's announcement banning the use of yellow with the words "Bersih 4" in whatever form ahead of the rally in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu today.

A government gazette signed by Zahid yesterday and which came into effect today  states that the order was made under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

The Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) (No. 22) Order 2015 lists as "absolutely prohibited throughout Malaysia" the following items: any yellow coloured clothing and which contains the words "Bersih 4", and any other printed material and pamphlet which leads to Bersih 4 rally.

A copy of the order is available online.

It states that the "printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing, sale, issue, circulation, distribution, or possession" of these items are "likely prejudicial to public order", as well as to security and national interest. 

- TMI

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