Tag Archives: rally

Walk for Justice and Peace – 16.10.2014

It’s a much smaller crowd than the one had for Walk for Justice in Putrajaya few years back. But it’s to see lawyers show up in force.


President of the Malaysian Bar, Christopher Leong, addressing the crowd before marching to Parliament.

I brought along my sister in law, CA, to attend the walk. She passed her CLP exams and was looking for a place to do her pupillage at that time. I thought it would be interesting for her to attend one of these rallies.

Thinking that the place will be packed, we parked at Dayabumi and walked to Padang Merbok under the hot sun at 1030am. I think the distance from Dayabumi to Padang Merbok was longer than Dayabumi to Parliament.

Lawyers were asked to wear a jacket to the walk but I gave it up as soon as I stepped out from the car. It was a wise decision. Even without a jacket, I had a waterfall of sweat coming from my head.

The event was also great to meet up with old friends. We also got to see some Members of Parliament from the Federal Opposition side like Sivarasa, Gobind, Wong Chen, etc.


Ravin Singh addressing the crowd.


Even an Orang Asli group came


Solidarity for Azmi Sharom – a law lecturer who was charged for sedition recently over a legal opinion

At about 1130am, we marched towards the Parliament. It was a rather uneventful one and chants and shouts were pretty mild.


One thing we did cause was a traffic jam. Cars couldn’t come to the road in front of Parliament.

Upon reaching Parliament, some members entered it to present a memorandum asking the Sedition Act 1948 to be repealed and all sedition charges be withdrawn. The memorandum was received by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Datuk Mah Siew Keong aka Handsome Mah.

CA and I didn’t wait long and left early for lunch. The walk back to the car was torturous. But we were fortunate that it did not rain.

YB RSN Rayer of Penang. He was charged with sedition because he uttered the words, “UMNO celaka” in the State Assembly. His prosecution was a surprise to me as words uttered in State Assemblies are protected by privilege.


There were loads of banners and cards. This one is the winner.

My only complaint about this walk is that there had been too many walk. The last walk was in 2011 when the Bar organised a walk to protest against the Peaceful Assembly Bill. Before that, it was 2007 when the Bar organised “Walk for Justice” to urge the Government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe the state of judiciary and to establish a judicial appointments and promotion commission. I think “walks” should be used sparingly and we should adopt other means of protest. It “walks” becomes a norm for us, the public won’t take it seriously anymore.

Nevertheless, I think there is a slight impact from this walk. I don’t recall anyone being charged for sedition after the walk but there was reports of people being investigated for it.

Bersih Rally – Twitter Updates

I tweeted live from the ground during the Bersih 2.0 rally. I even posted pictures from the event. Some friends were following the event through my tweets and many retweeted my tweets. It gave me extra 2000 unique hits and 50 new Twitter followers all of a sudden.

Here are some of the tweets and pictures that I posted. The tweets below have been edited for accuracy purposes.

LRT Stations are open and trains are working
– 10:01AM

Police present heavy at Masjid Jamek stop
– 10:16AM

Roads are empty infront of Bar Council #Bersih police r everywhere

– 10:26AM

Drinking tea at a mamak behind Central Market. Filled wif police and SB. Safest place to be now I guess.
– 10:55AM

@HRDipendra said if u r infront of a FRU truck n u hear a bell,start running bcause tats a sign tat they will b launchin tear gasses #Bersih
– 10:57AM

Australia #Bersih rally flyer!

– 11:40AM

BC: As at 1140am, 238 arrested. Hang Tuah, Mahajalela, KTM st closed.Police checkin restaurants @ Brickfields
– 11:50AM

Melbourne #Bersih rally. Apparently 1K people attended.

– 11:50AM

Police presence heavy at Pasar Seni station. Many ppl standin by d roadside of Chinatown

-12:08AM

Police at Central Market. Saw them checking ICs of pedestrians

– 12:17PM

Massive crowd has reached Dayabumi chanting Reformasi!

– 12:34PM

Tear gas fired at Dataran. Crowd running away from tear gas!

– 12:38PM

The Chinese crowd has joined the Malay crowd at Petaling Street
– 12:43PM

Petaling Street crowd now

– 12:47PM

Crowd moving towards Stadium Negara via Chinatown
– 12:48PM

Huge crowd still at the Kotaraya junction #Bersih. Many onlookers

– 1:01PM

Those who just followed me, Im part of the Bar Council Monitoring team. My role is to document the #Bersih rally

– 1:01PM

Crowd congregating at d junction to Stadium Negara at Chinatown

– 1:02PM

Crowd moving out from Chinatown

– 1:08PM

Crowd is massive! I’m standin at d same place for 10 minutes n the crowd hasnt finish passin me yet!
– 1:08PM

Someone shouted, “Join the group! Fast! Don’t split!”.
– 1:19PM

Part of the #Bersih crowd in front of Menara Maybank

– 1:28PM

Crowd chantin Hidup Bersih! Hidup Kuning!

– 1:29PM

Crowd getting bigger at Maybank! Saw a new group joining the Maybank Crowd!!
– 1:30PM

Crowd has gone bigger. Bunch of tudong ladies just walked into the crowd

– 1:37PM

FRU sprays water on crowd. Crowd moving back!!
– 1:39PM

FRU shot tear gas into crowd! Had to run!! #Bersih nose feeling abit itchy now.
– 1:42PM

Offered some salt to those who got gassed. Police shot tear gas after some ppl attacked d FRU truck
– 1:46PM

Fish! Tear gas got to me. Eyes stinging. When the tear gasses were shot, some policemen guided us to a place to run
– 1:49PM

Crowd moving back to Pudu after being tear gassed
– 1:54PM

Saw a group of police running towards the crowd! May be arresting people now at Pudu. RUN!!
– 2:00PM

Police arresting those in yellow. #Bersih. Raining now. The sky weeps for Malaysia
– 2:02PM

Chaos in the city. Throngs in yellow arrested. Tear gas fired.
– 2:21PM

I stood wif d police when d shot d tear gas. D wind blew the gas back to d police. I had to run again
– 2:26PM

Those whose frens r arrested at Pudu, they may be brought to Jln Stadium police station.
– 2:29PM

Saw police running towards the crowd. More arrest will be made. This is hell.
– 2:31PM

Hentian Pudu is empty now

– 2:39PM

Heard news FRU r shooting tear gas into the vicinity of Tung Shin hospital
– 2:44PM

Crowd broken into various parts. But many heading to Stadium Negara
– 2:57PM

Crowd booing TV3 reporter! Chanting PENIPU!
– 3:00PM

Crowd infront of Stadium Bola Keranjang near Stadium Merdeka. Booing TV3 reporters.

– 3:07PM

My legs r cramped n I’m all wet.But it’s all gud wen random ppl come n say “Hidup BarCouncil” n “U guys did a good job policin d police”
– 3:17PM

Crowd is back at Chinatown again. Moving towards Central Market.

– 3:27PM

Note to self in next rallies. Wear loose pants. Can’t climb anything when pants r tight.
– 3:28PM

Crowd changed directions. Now moving towards the Chinese Assembly Hall
– 3:35PM

Crowd chilling in front of Chinese Assembly Hall. #Bersih No idea where to next.
– 3:48PM

Saw @JonsonChong, ex PKR Information Chief. One female lawyer calls him Mr. Yau Ying Lawyer.
– 3:51PM

Saw someone wearing Digi yellow tshirt. Free advertisement for them
– 3:56PM

Part of #Bersih crowd at Chinatown. No idea what is happening next. Is it over?

– 4:01PM

Crowd is dispersing. They made their point.
– 4:06PM

Police disperses crowd at Chinese Assembly Hall
– 4:10PM

Police n FRU marching towards Masjid Negara

– 4:15PM

Police did a cry to disperse at Chinese Assembly Hall and then disperse.
– 4:22PM

RT @7icia: RT @laychkoh: Peeps in London getting ready

Credits to @laychkoh
– 6:40PM

Brisbane #Bersih . Approximate 20 ppl attended. Is that all u can do Brisbane??

– 10/7/11 12:29AM

Lastly, here’s a video of the event. You can see me at 4:04.

I teared after watching this video. Must be the effect of tear gas.

Bersih 2.0 – 9.7.2011 – In the eyes of an observer

When the Bar Council issued a request for lawyers to assist in the monitoring team, I was interested to assist. When 3 of my colleagues, Himah, Jack and Dymphna signed up, I immediately joined them.

The team’s role is quite simple. We are required to document the event and assist those arrested by obtaining their details so that we can forward the details to Bar Council for further assistance. To put in this way, medics are there to attend to the poor while the lawyers are there to attend to those arrested.

Bersih 2.0 Rally is a rally organised by Bersih which comprises of civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. The rally calls for 8 points namely:-

1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal ballot
3. Use of indelible ink
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
5. Free and fair access to media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics

During the past 2 weeks, many things happened. Many people were arrested, Bersih was declared an illegal society and those in yellow attire were arrested. The Agong called for Government and Bersih to meet. Chairperson of Bersih and former President of Bar Council, Ambiga met the Agong and the Agong allowed the rally be held in a stadium. However, no permit was granted for the rally and request to use the National Stadium was denied.

This led to the rally being held in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Soon, the roads leading to Kuala Lumpur were blocked by Saturday midnight. However, the trains services were available.

My colleagues and I were scheduled to meet the Bar Council monitoring team at 10am hence to avoid from being stuck in a jam to the city, we decided to pull a night at DoubleTree Hotel. We got a very good rate hence the four of us shared a room.

The roads of Kuala Lumpur were empty when we arrived at Bar Council. Many roads were closed. We took the train and stopped at Masjid Jamek. Police presence was heavy there.


Wanted to plank on the streets but had no balls to.


We were regularly updated by the Bar Council on the latest events.

Dymphna and I were stationed at Jalan Tun H.S Lee. As soon as we arrived at Jalan Tun H.S Lee, we saw numerous police trucks and personnel.


Err..


Tourist..


Saw some people being detained in this Black Maria.

Few minutes later, it was reported that a crowd of 1,000 people were matching from KL Sentral towards Central Market.

As an observer, we are allowed to roam into the police’s territory. The police was nice to us. We are not allowed to take part in the procession or even make statements to the press.

When the crowd arrived, they were chanting “REFORMASI! The crowd was predominantly Malay. The road in front of Central Market was blocked hence they moved to Dataran Merdeka.


The crowd of 1,000

We returned to our station. I could see the crowd from far.

Suddenly, the police shot tear gas onto the crowd and the crowd started running towards us. We had to run as well!

As the gas was shot some distance away, the effect on us was little. But I could smell ammonia.


Some came prepared

The crowd moved towards Petaling Street (Chinatown) and was soon joined by the Chinese crowd from Petaling Street. Someone on twitter said that the Indians were still hungover.

Soon, the crowd swelled in Chinatown. It was so huge that it took more than 10 minutes for the crowd to pass me. It was peaceful and like a carnival.


Some were carrying flowers.


Balloons were thrown around.

Some people took pictures as if they were attending a party. The crowd was multiracial.

When the crowd moved to Hentian Pudu, the drama started. It was a joyful and loud crowd. It soon grew bigger when it was joined by another massive crowd. It was so huge that I couldn’t see the end. Certainly more than 6,000 people, the number claimed by the police.


We stood by the hillside of Menara Maybank and a good view of the crowd. The chants and roars were so loud that it gave me goose bumps. It brought people of all races together. It was unity of all the races. No multi-million dollars 1Malaysia project can bring Malaysians to this level.

Suddenly, a FRU truck sprayed water at the crowd. I could see one person trying to restrain the crowd from retaliating.


This person was carrying a Malaysian flag. Berita Minggu said that he carried a knife.


But soon, a group of people attacked the truck and that is when the police fired tear gas on to the crowd again.

We immediately ran for cover. A policeman guided us out from the building. He didn’t leave although the gas was heading towards him. I am grateful for his help.

My eyes started to tear. I washed my face with mineral water and offered salt to anyone who needs it. But I wasn’t the only one with salt, many people were offering each other with salt, water or any form of help.

The effect to my eyes after being tear gassed is like having onion rubbed into my eyes. I couldn’t stop crying. Breathing was difficult too.


Even a monk was caught in the melee

We rested at the back lane of Menara Maybank for a while and went back to Hentian Pudu again. The crowd got pushed behind. A group of police then rushed towards the crowd and I heard one policeman shouting, “Catch those in yellow!”. People started running and I saw some people jumping off cliffs to escape.


Some people were pushed to the ground and are tied with plastic

We immediately offered assistance those who were arrested and took down their names to be forwarded to the Bar Council to assist them later. The police allowed us to do so without any interruptions.


Those arrested

We thought it will be safe with the police but when they started firing tear gas again, the wind blew and the gas hit us. We had to run again!

Fortunately, it started to rain heavily. The sky was crying for Malaysia.


Hentian Pudu was empty

We rested at Menara Maybank for a while. We bumped into some other volunteer lawyers and we gathered to move to Stadium Negara. Many of us lost our group members.

Soon, we were joined by more lawyers and moved towards Stadium Negara. At this time. I heard news of people being stuck in Tung Shin Hospital and tear gas was fired into the hospital.

Just as I thought the crowd died down, the crowd at Stadium Negara was massive. They were moving towards Chinese Assembly Hall.


Many shops were closed but KK Super Market opened its doors.


I bet this ice cream seller’s sales shot up to 1000%. I also bet he prays for a rally every day.


The crowd allowed a taxi to go through. What violence?


TV3 reporters being booed by the crowd. At one point, they chanted, “PENIPU (Liar)”.


Smart way to move.

After being with the crowd for a while, I realize that these people were just like us. Some were students, professionals, employees, businessmen and housewives. Anyone can be a part of this rally. Even though many of the organisers of Bersih were arrested, the rally went on. Some people travelled into the city without any knowledge of the actual plan.


Photographers found a good spot to take pictures


Me.

By 4pm, the crowd started to dispersed at Chinese Assembly Hall. The police suddenly appeared and chased after the crowd and the crowd ran helter-skelter. The lawyers stayed on to witness the attack.

We then followed the police and minutes later, we witnessed their cry of disperse. It was all over for us.


We went back to the Bar Council for debriefing.

Over 1,400 people were arrested (later released) and 2 people died. One from breathing difficulty and another one from being hit by a tear gas canister. RIP.

In the end of the day, I was tear gassed, all wet, had legs cramp and sun burn. But it was all good when random people came up to me to shouting “Hidup Bar Council!” and “You guys did a good job policing the police!”.

I am proud to have served the civil society. A change is all we need.

Note: This post does not represent the views of the Bar Council or its monitoring team. All views and errors are mine.

WALK FOR JUSTICE – 26.9.2007

Despite being informed that the government had set up an independent commission to probe the controversial video clip allegedly showing a senior lawyer talking to a senior judge about appointments of judges and into the state of the Judiciary in general, the Bar Council decided to proceed with the march. In this march, the Bar Council will gather at the Palace of Justice and walk towards the Prime Ministers Office to present 2 memorandums namely to call for the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry to probe the controversial video and also a judicial appointments commission for the appointment and promotion of judges.

My colleagues and I arrived at the Palace of Justice at around 1030AM after taking a huge detour from our normal route. The police have blocked some of the entrances to Putrajaya forcing us to take a longer route. The 7 buses that were chartered by the Bar Council to ferry members of the Bar to the Palace of Justice were denied entry to Putrajaya. This resulted in a 5KM walk by the bus passengers from the entrance to the Palace of Justice. Some of the members of the Bar took their vehicles to pick up these people. But all this was not in vain, as soon as the passengers arrived at the Palace of Justice, the crowd greeted them with a thunderous applause.

It was estimated that around 2000 people were present. Other than fellow lawyers, politicians from the opposition and bloggers such as JeffOoi, Rockybru, Raja Petra Kamarudin and politikus were present.


Jeff Ooi


At the entrance of the Palace of Justice


The crowd at 11AM


Some members of the crowd were spotted with all sorts of banners including one banner calling for the sacking of the Chief Justice – with a worn out Doraemon soft toy on top of the banner.


The Press


The crowd swelling!

The police were there to monitor the situation and they did not interfere with the crowd in Putrajaya.

By 12PM, the crowd started marching towards the Prime Minister’s Office. For the second time in the Bar Council’s 60 years of history, such progression occurred.


The Walk Begins


Banner saying, “Honk if you’re Horny”.


Reporters from Channel News Asia (Singapore)

As soon as the crowd arrived at the entrance of the Prime Minister’s Office, it started pouring heavily. Some members took refuge under some shades but some braved the rain. We stood there for an hour waiting for something to happen. I was soaked from bottom to top.


Polytikus (to tikus, will send the pictures to you soon!)

At around 1:30PM, the Bar Council office bearers announced that the memorandums have been submitted. The crowd disperse thereafter.
I rushed back to the office, grabbed my file to attend a meeting at 3PM – smelling like a fish. My pants, socks, shoes and shirt were wet! I had to apologize to my clients that I smelled like a fish.

Related Links
JeffOoi – Screenshot
Polytikus – I marched. All 8 kilometres of it 🙂
Malaysian Bar – Walk for Justice: “When lawyers walk, something must be very wrong”
Terteaforsea – WALK FOR JUSTICE – Palace of Justice to PM’s Office

WALK FOR JUSTICE – 26.9.2007

Thank you for the birthday wishes. I haven’t had the time to reply to everyone’s comments. My sincere apology.

As some of you may know, the Bar Council has organised a gathering at the Palace of Justice (I just realised that the Court canceled the word “Palace of Justice” and replaced it with “Istana Kehakiman”) on 26.9.2007. The purpose of the gathering is to present a memorandum to the Prime Minister or the Deputy Prime Minister calling for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into a video clip allegedly showing a senior lawyer talking to a senior judge about appointments of judges and into the state of the Judiciary in general.

The said video clip can be seen below – courtesy of Malaysiakini.com

The government controlled local dailies have taken the position not to reveal the names of senior lawyer and judge. I too will not name the senior lawyer and judge but I am sure everyone would know by reading the links below.

Members will gather at the entrance to the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya at 10.30am on 26.9.2007 then walk from the Palace of Justice to the Prime Minister’s Office to hand over the memorandum.
The Bar Council’s aim is to gather at least 1000 lawyers. However, I foresee that the amount would exceed 1000. Further, other parties like members of the opposition parties and non governmental organisation will join the peaceful walk.

The Bar Council has arranged for 7 buses to ferry members to the Palace of Justice tomorrow morning. Please note that the buses are for members of the Bar Council and not for the public.

I too will join the walk with my fellow colleagues despite going against my personal belief on the justification of this walk. I am a member of the Bar Council and if the Bar Council calls upon their members to support, I will no doubt lend my hand to support them.

Stay tuned for updates tomorrow.

Related links:
Jeffooi.com for Background info
Malaysian Bar Council