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When lawyers walk

October 17, 2007

When lawyers of the Malaysian Bar walked (see pixs here), they did it for a number of reasons.

The least of which were being “crazy” (details here) and behaving like “an opposition political party” as one law minister of ours had stupidly claimed and would have had the general public believed.

The one who is assuredly “crazy” is the said law minister himself who can pluck a non-existent Act (or is it a Bill?) out of thin air and lie about its protection for whistle-blowers. The law minister should walk, too. Not to the PM’s office but out of it into oblivion. Malaysians can do with one less goon in the administration who is not only an embarrassment at home but also around the world.

One of the reasons Malaysian lawyers trekked 3.5 km in Putrajaya on 26 September 2007 from the Palace of Justice to the Prime Minister’s office was this: to urge the administration to set up a royal commission of inquiry to propose institutional reform for a more independent judiciary.

The other reason was to call for the establishment of a judicial appointments and promotions commission to ensure transparency in the promotion of judges.

What was the proverbial final straw that brought on the walk to call for reforms in the judiciary which had been under siege and rotting away by the day since the sacking of the Lord President Salleh Abas in 1988?

It’s thanks to the now infamous VK Lingam video tape (see it here) that was recorded in 2002 and exposed by DS Anwar Ibrahim of PKR on 19 September 2007. In that tape, unless one is mentally challenged, one will be able to see VK Lingam on the phone seemingly incriminating himself brokering for top judicial appointments with the purported then-chief-judge-of-Malaya (the judiciary’s No.3) Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

Is the tape authentic? Did those deeds, as highlighted in the tape, come to pass? These are questions best left to the ‘experts’ to delve into to either make themselves heroes or villains to the rakyat. Let’s wait and see what they are made of.

As i see it, the lawyers who walked on 26 September despite threats of possible bodily harm, discrimination and/or incarceration are made of sterner stuff.

They were conscionable. They said “enough is enough.” They rose and did what they had to do – peacefully. Most even walked an extra 5 km to the destination because their buses ferrying them were not allowed into the administrative area of Putrajaya because of absurd security reasons. They did not let the sun or rain deter them. They achieved their objective and succeeded in handing over the memorandum to the PM’s office.

For whatever it is worth, the lawyers on that day had conscience and were not afraid.

They had conscience and were not afraid to rise up and take a stand for what is right. They had conscience and were not afraid to do the democratic right thing. They had conscience and were not afraid to have their bodies and rice-bowls broken.

How many of us can follow the lead of our lawyers? How many of us have conscience and are not afraid to do the democratic right thing?

How many of us have conscience and are not afraid to walk for a just cause?

How many of us in the citizenry? In the PM’s department? In the parliament? In the judiciary? In the attorney-general’s office? In the police? In the ACA? In the election-commission? In the immigration? In the customs? In the income-tax? In the town councils? In the postal service? In the GLCs? In the Barisan Nasional? In the opposition? In the NGOs? In the MTUC? In the armed forces? In the mainstream media? In the schools and colleges? In the universities? In the business community? In the offices? In the factories? In the associations? In the kampungs? In the taman-taman? In the homes? In the …

… you get the drift.

From → Malaysia Upclose

2 Comments
  1. I agree with your pointers. The Lawyers’ Walk was necessary and meaningful. Just a pointer – I observed that less than 5% of the walking lawyers are senior lawyers. Most are freshies and some are chambering students. None of those lawyers whose clients are Maybank, GLCs, government related corporations such as NST or TheStar, are walking… most senior lawyers are those whose clients are Jeff ooi, Rockybru, DAP, PKR, PAS, and NGOs.

    My point here is – do you see the FACTs of life?

    – Maverick, the facts of life are those who are in a position to take responsibility have no conscience and lack guts to do the right thing. As for the rest, most prefer to look the other way.

  2. fucai2007 permalink

    lawyer pun manyak ular lar!!!

    kuat telan $$$

    – kau ni betul bahalu, tak bertelur, kurang ajar dan, sebenarnya, seekor ular sendiri. dah telan telur sendiri ka? pi mampus cepat.

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