Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Malaysian lawyers ready to walk against Sedition Act at 10.30am, 16 October 2014

A Clarion Call to Participate in the Walk for Peace and Freedom 2014 (16 Oct 2014)  

Further to my Circular No 220/2014 dated 2 Oct 2014, entitled “Walk for Peace and Freedom 2014 (16 Oct 2014)”, I write to reiterate the importance and value of your participation in the Malaysian Bar’s Walk for Peace and Freedom 2014 (“Walk”).  

This Walk is the first outcome of the Malaysian Bar’s resolution, overwhelmingly passed at its Extraordinary General Meeting on 19 Sept 2014, to condemn the use of the Sedition Act 1948.

The Walk is a powerful message, but we will not stop merely with the Walk, as it is but one part of the Malaysian Bar’s wider ongoing campaign to oppose the Sedition Act 1948 and fetters on freedom of speech and expression.  

The Walk will take place as follows:

Date:                       16 Oct 2014 (Thursday)
Time:                      10:30 am
Gathering point:    Padang Merbok Car Park (Tempat Letak Kereta Padang Merbok)
Dress code:            Chamber attire

The designated meeting time is at 10:30 am, and we estimate that we will commence the Walk towards Parliament at approximately 11:30 am, so please join us at the Padang Merbok Car Park as soon as you are able to.  The Walk will culminate in our handing over of the relevant documents to the Prime Minister (or his representative) at Parliament.

We have given the required notice pursuant to section 10 of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, by letter dated 1 Oct 2014.  

I urge each of you to participate in the Walk.  Do this not only for yourselves, but for other Malaysians and for future generations.  Our collective voice is imperative in this juncture of the nation’s history.   

To our senior Members, I appeal to you not only to join the Walk, but also to encourage and permit the lawyers and pupils in chambers in your firm to carry out their duty pursuant to section 42 of the Legal Profession Act 1976 by participating in the Walk, if they so wish.

Should you have any queries, please contact Kenneth Ang, Special Projects Director, by email or by telephone at 03-2050 2014.

I look forward to seeing you on 16 October — let’s stand up for peace and freedom!

Thank you.

Christopher Leong
Malaysian Bar

Walk in solidarity with Bar, media folk urged

Following the continued existence of the Sedition Act 1948 and its questionable usage on certain individuals, media non-governmental organisation Geramm has urged its practitioners to walk in solidarity with the Malaysian Bar tomorrow.

The gathering at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur beginning 10.30am tomorrow is to protest against a law which has been abused to restrict the people’s right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, Geram said.

“Geramm’s planned participation also follows a recent meeting between our representative, along with the Institute of Journalists Malaysia, with Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad who is the press secretary of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to hand over a similar petition of protest which recorded more than 100 signatures from media practitioners who are against the Act.”

“Hence Geramm is inviting media practitioners to walk along with the Malaysian Bar tomorrow and protest against a law which has been abused to restrict those two fundamental rights.”

The Bar Council announced that it is organising the protest walk called ‘Walk for Peace and Freedom’, after the Malaysian Bar in an extraordinary general meeting last month approved a motion to hold the walk, where they will march from Padang Merbok to the Parliament.

This is the fourth walk of protest of its kind in the 67-year-old history of the professional body.

Participants are expected to gather at around 10.30am before marching to Parliament, where a representative from the Malaysian Bar is expected to hand over a memorandum of protest to a representative of the government.

Many ambiguities in the Act

Geramm, in commenting on the investigation into Malaysiakini’s journalist Susan Loone, emphasised that there are many “ambiguities” in the provisions under the Act which can be abused to prevent any individual from speaking up out of fear.

In the event that a published article is at the centre of an investigation under the Act, Geramm also urges authorities to carry out their duties in a professional manner.

“Geramm hereby urges all media practitioners who are against the use of the Sedition Act to come together and demand that the government fulfill its promises of implementing legal reforms and secure the rights to freedom of expression for all Malaysians.”

Previously, it was reported that Loone had been arrested and quizzed for nine hours following an interview she had with Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh.

Geramm is a loose coalition of journalists, media representatives and activists who are fighting for freedom of the press and its practitioners.- Malaysiakini, 15/10/2014, Walk in solidarity with Bar, media folk urged
Press release by Proham in Support of the Malaysian Bar's Walk for Peace on 16th October 2014

  Wednesday, 15 October 2014 11:10am
Proham supports the Bar Council's peaceful march on Oct 16, 2014. Peaceful public expression is a fundamental human right. This provides a democratic avenue of expression whereby citizens display their unhappiness through a constructive public display.

Proham calls on the Federal Government to host a dialogue session with the Bar Council and other human rights organisations so as to reveal its plan of action in repealing the Sedition Act and replacing it with the promised Harmony Act. In this context it is important for the Federal government to also release the Human Rights Action Plan which Malaysia made as a commitment to the global community during the UPR in Geneva Human Rights Council discussions. 
Proham calls on the authorities to discontinue the use of the Sedition Act till Parliament has introduced the new law with adequate protection for freedom of speech in the context of citizens responsibility in the balanced enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
Issued on behalf of Proham by Datuk Kuthubul Zaman (Proham Chairman) and Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (Proham Secretary General)  - Malaysian 
Bar Website

Suport for the Walk for Peace and Freedom 2014 have been coming in as follows:-

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