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Malaysia to ease public assembly law

(Xinhua)

13:48, November 21, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia would ease laws to allow peaceful assemblies without police permits, a move that came as part of Prime Minister Najib Razak's pledge for civil liberty reforms in September.

Prime minister Najib Razak is expected to table a bill at the parliament on Thursday, local daily New Straits Times reported, quoting sources.

The new bill is similar to the freedom of assembly legislations practiced in the UK that allows public assembly without police permit in venues that would not disrupt public order.

The Malaysian Federal Constitution requires groups to obtain police permits before holding assemblies, meetings and processions.

Najib had on Sept. 15 announced an overhaul of a series of security policies deemed outdated and the abolishment of the Internal Security Act one of the most controversial laws in the country that had in the past allowed the government to detain thousands of suspects without trial or criminal charges.

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