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Upon reaching Parliament, some members entered it to present a memorandum asking the Sedition Act 1948 to be repealed and all sedition charges be withdrawn.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.

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