Chris Chong highlights the Malaysian Bar’s recent march for peace and freedom in the wake of the sedition crackdown.
Five lawyers staged a walkout after the royal commission into the Lingam tape today barred their client – PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim – from participating in the proceedings.
commission’s decision was made due to the Anwar’s refusal to withdraw
and apologise for his contemptuous remarks made against the royal panel
Also barred for the same reason is social reform movement Aliran.
In our cover story, we look at what is
going on in Malaysian society in the aftermath of recent demonstrations
organised by lawyers, the Bersih coalition and Hindraf. Khoo Boo Teik
observes that the goodwill that was shown to Abdullah Badawi in
2003-2004 has largely evaporated and wonders if there is a whiff of
reformasi in the air now. Jeyakumar Devaraj, however, cautions
that the Hindraf approach is misguided and the struggle for social
justice must be reoriented to make it more multi-racial.
Aliran deplores the thoughtless and
mindless reaction of the state against any democratic expression of
our constitutional rights to exert our freedom. We are appalled that
even a small gathering of marchers to a nearby destination in an
orderly manner without obstructing the traffic or causing any chaos
to the public cannot be allowed or tolerated by this oppressive