Roles of Pressure Groups
Promote the interest of the minority.
The roles of pressure groups are promoting the interest of the minority. Pressure groups are the champion when it comes to the right of the people under-privileged, especially promotional pressure groups. As they go about their activities, they ensure that the interests of minority groups are not trampled upon by the government. Thus, pressure groups act as watchdogs on the government. For example, there are also cases of injustice such as those Siti Noor Aishah where she had served her sentence for the Penal Code offences. She was found guilty for the sentence of the Penal Code but then she was suddenly subjected to house arrest under POCA.
Pressure group plays a pivotal in Malaysian Politics because pressure groups are able to express the view of minority groups in the community groups who might not otherwise receive a hearing. For example, one of the pressure group in Malaysia is Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM). SUARAM helps the minors that are arrested and detained without trial. In year 2017, there are currently 142 minors detained without trial under Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA), 17 minors detained under Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA). If there is legitimate allegation against these individuals, they should be charged in the court in accordance to the laws of our country. SUARAM helps this minor by pressure the Ministry of Home Affairs.
6. Influencing the decision of the Legislature
Another function of pressure groups is to put pressure on government so that it can implement policies that inure to the benefit of its members. If not putting pressure on government to influence its policy, it is putting pressure on government to change a policy direction or to withdraw entirely a particular policy that does not favour their members.