( Malaysia Chronicle) Let’s Walk, Bar Council tells lawyers to stand up against Najib’s Assembly Bill If Prime Minister Najib Razak thinks he can turn Malaysia into a despotic state worse than even Myanmar in terms of civil liveries and democratic space, he has a fight on his hands. The Bar Council is the latest civil society group to organize protest against Najib’s recently tabled Peaceful Assembly Bill that crtics say should rightfully be called the Anti-Freedom to Assemble Bills. “We must urge the prime minister to amend the Bill by way of public consultation to ensure that Malaysia will have a legislation in the public interest, which truly upholds, protects and promotes our constitutional right to freedom of assembly,” Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee told a press conference on Friday. “I call on all members to support us in this crucial initiative. See you on Tuesday. Let’s walk!” FAC protest on Saturday, Bar Council on Tuesday The lawyers’ march will start at 11.30am on Tuesday and the lawyers will walk from the Royal Lake Club to Parliament, which is due to debate the Bill before tabling it the same day.
A memorandum will be submitted to the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong at the end of the march. Already the lawyers’ bold initiative has been applauded by the Pakatan Rakyat opposition and other civil society groups. Bukit Gantang MP Nizar Jamaluddin, himself an engineers, has called on his profession to join hands with the lawyers to defend Malaysia from being ‘swallowed’ by despotic regimes. “Calling all Irs as well 2 join the Lawyers march against the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011,29 nov,tuesday,11.30am frm lake club to parliament,” Nizar said on his Twitter. On Saturday, Freedom to Campaign led by law professor Wong Chin Huat will also be holding a protest walk through the KLCC Park at 2pm. It will also hold a candlelight vigil at the Dataran Merdeka on the same day at 8pm, while a public forum is being organized for November 29 at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. The FAC, also known by its Malay acronym of KKB or Kempen Kebebasan Berhimpun, is made up of civil society groups and NGOs, many of which were also members of the Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections.
Worse than Myanmar
Meanwhile, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and Bersih chief Ambiga Sreenevasan have described the Bill as being more oppressive than Myanmar. Najib’s Bill requires 30 days’ notice to be given to the police, who have absolute power to turn down the application, whereas in Myanmar, only 5 days advance notice is required to be given to the authorities. “Myanmar has always been regarded as the worst laggard country in ASEAN in its utter disregard and contempt for human rights and it must be very mortifying and shameful for the Malaysian government, parliamentarians and people that we now have to learn from Myanmar on how to respect human rights and fundamental constitutional liberties of our people, at least on freedom of assembly!” said Kit Siang. The last time the Bar Council organised a Walk for Justice protest was in 2007 over the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into a judge-fixing incident known as the Lingam Tape case. “The Malaysian Bar, and indeed Malaysia, is now facing such a moment of challenge and controversy – an objectionable Bill, being rushed into law with unseemly haste and without adequate public consultation, which effectively robs the rakyat of our constitutional right to freedom of assembly,” said Chee Wee. “It is not a piece of legislation which we, as lawyers, can watch enter our statute books without standing up against it. It is not a piece of legislation that we want future generations to inherit, without us walking, and spending every ounce of our energy to oppose. If this piece of legislation makes it to the statute books, future generations will inherit a nation that is far from modern and progressive.”
False reforms In September, in a bid to remake his image after he was condemned far and wide for ordering a severe police crackdown on the July 9 Bersih rally, Najib had announced he would repeal the Internal Security Act and 3 other Emergency laws plus give further freedom to the people to assemble peacefully to express their views on whatever issue perturbed them. However, less than 2 months have passed and his harshest critics seem to have been proven right. Najib has reneged on his fine words. Last week, he locked up 13 people under the ISA for purportedly being very ‘dangerous men’. He then submitted a Peaceful Assembly Bil for first reading at Parliament. The new Bill turned out to contain a slew of much harsher terms and conditions, practically killing off any peaceful assembly by the people with its prohibitive clauses and handing over excessive powers to the police. “We feel let down by how far short this Bill falls in relation to what the Malaysian people were promised in the Prime Minister’s Malaysia Day 2011 message. In short, the prime minister must walk his own talk,” said Chee Wee. According to him, the Malaysian Bar is especially perturbed by the following provisions in Najib’s proposed Bill: Prohibition of street protests (defined widely as “open air assembly which begins with a meeting at a specified place and consists of walking in a mass march or rally for the purpose of objecting to or advancing a particular cause or causes”); Prohibition of organisation of assemblies by persons below the age of 21 years; Prohibition of participation in peaceful assemblies by children below the age of 15 years; Unduly onerous responsibilities and restrictions on organisers and assemblies; and Excessive fines for non-compliance with the Bill.
[[[ *** RESPONSES *** ]]]
The only tan and sunlight such professional degree holding fakes will get shall only be from the glare of citizens still living under APARTHEID while the Bar Council and it’s lawyers shamelessly display their lack of effective action. ANYONE can take a walk in a group (also anyone can buy a fake degree), the Bar Council and Lawyers are supposed to protect the citizens by filing LAWSUITS, perhaps all the way to the UN or NAM against various abuses against the UNHCR not ‘taking a walk’. Stop walking around aimlessly Bar Council and file a LAWSUIT against the PM, the Supreme Judges, or UMNO-BN if you dare to be the professionals the Bar Council represents. Otherwise it will be alot of people walking around then a few getting arrested. What are you here to do? Sound out the ‘malcontents’ for BN? Walking around is for strays, only signature campaigns (plebiscite style) and lawsuits get results. Contact the UN at least. Contact the Universities the Judges went to to ask that their degrees be WITHDRAWN because they have made a mockery of the UNHCR. In fact I’ll ask for Chee Wee’s university to withdraw Chee Wee degree along with the entire bar council committee’s legal degrees as well if they do not do the above. File suits like a legal professional, ‘walking’ has no effect whatsoever you fakes. Useless, and you call yourself professionals, more like a sellouts, political prostitutes walking the streets, leading the uneducated to their doom . . .
Still not a word on APARTHEID? No lawsuit on the Reid Commission and the failure of UMNO or Dr.Mahathir to do that promised review after 15 years? It has not after 50+ years nullifying whatever ‘Social Contract’. And only THAT action to address APARTHEID, would be worthy of a true legal eagle, anyone associating with the ‘walk’ are being legal mutt-cases. Lawyers are pen pushers, so do that legal job and push pens to address LEGAL ABUSES not hog limelight by ‘walking’ to no effect (the Government will so ignore those walking . . . ). When it is time to physically throw down the dictators, let the Hindraf and Mat Rempit, (who knows ex-cops and ex-commie) types take charge. We don’t need the likes of pen pushers like ‘Chee Wee’ to ‘walk’. We need people like Chee Wee to file lawsuits and liase with fellow legal professionals and constitutional scholars to ensure the end of apartheid and to nullify Section 377B and University Colleges Act, Printing Presses Act and this Assembly Prevention bill until it is hopeless THEN the citizens will pull a Tahrir Square – not Bar Council hog limelight by ‘leading meaningless and non-legally binding ‘walks’. Such unproductive pretentiousness itself deserves a lawsuit from the citizenry. And Mubarak Lim (Kit Siang) should either step aside from his post or file that Lawsuit instead of taking potshots on the sideline. Call them worse than Myanmmar, but no legal action? Where’s the Tiger of Jelutong? No word on APARTHEID or the failure to review Special Privileges as per the Reid Commission?
Do you know what a really proactive MP would do? Certainly not be a bad example of LIMITLESS TERMS and blocs of relatives in a political party turned family clan association. Conflict of interest and out of touch, more of the same, so what will change if we vote Pakatan? Try 3rd Force instead. Join 3rd Force Coalition – KITA, MCLM, PCM, Borneo Front, Konsensus Bebas, HRP, PSM or vote any Independents! ***Commentator comments (quite thought provoking also) : Friday, 25 November 2011 18:44 posted by @aruna (at Malaysia Chronicle) Is something chronically wrong with Najib and Hishammuddin (Any one want to write a book entitled – Half Blood Turk!)?
These two aristocrat cousins (nepotists) are ruining this nation for their own whims and fancies. It is a tragedy that Najib BLINDLY follows Hishammuddin in everything he does (really?!?). Look at what Hishammuddin did with BERSIH which backfired on Najib’s administration. Again it is Hishammuddin’s stupidity and arrogance on the Peaceful Assembly Bill that is causing havoc for Najib. If Najib want to survive Hishammuddin should be packed off.