In chamber attire and valiant spirits, members of the Malaysian Bar Council walked in the name of peace and freedom on the morning of 16 October 2014
The Malaysian Bar convened an Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) on 19 Sept 2014 to condemn the use and continued use of the Sedition Act 1948. In view of this, the Malaysian Bar at its EGM resoundingly resolved to hold a peaceful assembly to protest the recent spate of arrests, charges and investigations under the Sedition Act 1948.malaysianbar.org.my
It is estimated that around a thousand people were present at Padang Merbok, KL. Here's what they had to say:
The clear signs to Repeal, Repeal, Repeal
Abolish the Sedition Act and Let's Go For Ice Cream
"Mansuhkan Akta Baginda Queen" dan "Akta Kolonial"
The Law Society has expressed concern over Malaysia's continuing use of the 1948 Sedition Act. The act, which was made law during the British colonial era, criminalises speech uttered 'to excite disaffection' against the government. The act has been used to intimidate and silence political opponents including lawyers.malaysianbar.org.my
The Act is a contradiction of the UN's fundamental principles of human rights, as set out in the General Assembly's Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Principles which as a UN member state Malaysia is subject to.malaysianbar.org.my
"Guru Bukan Dewa dan Selalu Benar dan Murid Bukan Kerbau" on activist Adam Adli
"Your Silence Will Not Protect You" handwritten and quoted from American writer Audre Lorde
American writer Audre Lorde names herself as "a black feminist lesbian mother poet" because her identity is based on the relationship of many divergent perspectives once perceived as incompatible. Recognizing that "imposed silence about any area of our lives is a tool for separation and powerlessness" (The Cancer Journals, 1980), Audre Lorde claimed and celebrated all of her selves in order that others could come to find their own voices. Her poetry and prose demonstrate that we need not be afraid of difference, that difference can be a creative force for change. At the forefront of black feminist thought, her work has contributed to an analysis of the interlocking nature of all oppression. As activist and poet, she worked to challenge and transform power relations.illinois.edu
Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) for freedom of expression and All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) were present as mouthpieces of Article 10
Article 10 of the federal constitution of Malaysia: Freedom of speech, assembly and association. Every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression. However, Parliament may make laws to restrict this right if they are necessary or expedient in the interest of: the security of Malaysia; friendly relations with other countries; public order or morality; the protection of the privileges of Parliament or any State legislative assembly or to provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence.malaysianbar.org.my
"Students Against Sedition", "Decolonise Your Minds" held up by law students
The obvious link between "Harmony, Unity, Respect"
"Bebaskan Media, Berani Lawan", *"You Don't Scare Me!" said local journalists
"Ini Negara Demokrasi Atau Kuku Besi?"
"Satu Pihak Dikunci, Satu Pihak Bebas"
"I 'Sew' Seditious; Aku Jahit, Bukan Jahat", a handsewn masterpiece
In Thursday's 'Walk for Peace and Freedom' 10 members of the BAR council passed a memorandum to Datuk Mah Siew Keong of the Prime Minister's Department in Putrajaya, urging Najib to repeal the Sedition Act as he promised in 2012. This was the fourth time the Malaysian Bar Council has rallied together.
For the fourth time in its history, the Malaysian Bar today rallied, this time, against the Sedition Act 1948 demanding that Putrajaya repeal the colonial-era law, which in recent weeks had been used against opposition politicians and activists. Despite the heat, more than 600 lawyers in suits gathered at Padang Merbok from 9.40am today for the “justice and freedom walk against the Sedition Act”.themalaysianinsider.com
“We do ask the prime minister and government to take into account our views and that he remains steadfast in his pledge and promise made in July 2012 to repeal the Sedition Act,” (Christopher) Leong told reporters outside Parliament. The delegation of 10 lawyers included Steven Thiru, Richard Wee, Karen Cheah, Andrew Khoo and Honey Tan. Leong estimated that around 1,500 to 2,000 turned up today and he thanked them for their committment and courage.themalaymailonline.com
In the memorandum, the Malaysian Bar also urged Najib and Putrajaya to commit and promote the building of a fair, just, harmonious, unified, moderate, progressive Malaysia and reject all forms of bigotry, racist and religious extremism.themalaysianinsider.com
Christopher Leong, the President of the Malaysian Bar said the Sedition Act stands for "constricting of democratic space, stifling of freedom of speech and expression of thought. It's not merely a Malaysian thing, it's a concern across the board globally."
In 2014 alone, 12 cases have been prosecuted under the Sedition Act. Read more on SAYS: