“Defiant lawyers to walk on Sunday’? (Malaysiakini). More like courageous lawyers.
I was quite excited to know that some courageous lawyers will be walking this December 9, despite the Bar Council’s cowardly decision not to. They will start at 7.30am from Sogo’s to Central Market in Kuala Lumpur. I wish them all the best.
Lawyer Charles Hector, explained in his email, that the alternative group is walking because, among others (1) it is their inalienable right to do so (2) a right that can only be exercised by the consent of the police is a shrivelled up and pitiful kind of right (3) they are not inclined to be obedient to the high-handed directives of a tainted and unjust state apparatus…
Only yesterday, I felt annoyed when reading Edmond Bon’s “Walking out in protest“. It must be really hard for Edmond to say these things, coz I know where his heart is. But I thought the Bar Council was quite pathetic to pull out of the demo at the (near) eleventh hour, after so much hoohaa over “walking the talk” and “walking for justice”. Now it seems like merely ‘talking cock’.
The reasons for holding back the protest was even more pathetic: (1) tear-gas and chemical laced water (2) vilifying of partipants and organisers (3) use of force to disperse participants (4) engineering of an aversion towards public demonstrations and support of solidarity.
What does the Bar Council expect? That there’ll be red carpet, bunga mangga and kompang, to welcome protestors? Hello, we live in a police state. Everyone knows that already. Is the Bar Council sleeping? It’snot like it is the first time that police used these high-handed tactics and brute force on peaceful assemblies.
But what was more pathetic to me was the excuse that the rally would be ‘dangerous’ and ‘little assurance that the safety of the participants would be guaranteed’.
Like as if it was never ever dangerous, like as if we were always assured of our safety when we decide to join any rally. Since the reformasi days in 1998, rallies have been nothing but those two. Despite these hazards, people continue to join protests in solidarity against injustices. Has anyone ever ask why? I wish the Bar Council will speak only for themselves, and not for others who are willing to brave all those ‘excuses’ cum hazards cited by the Council.
It will not be easy for me to forget the Bar Council’s excuse for its own cowardice, especially its patronising excuse for not rallying because there will be many participants like “women and children, the elderly, refugees, and the orang Asli“.
Of all people, these group, considered the vulnerables, will be looking towards the Bar Council, for some courage and boldness, to stand in solidarity with them to challenge the state apparatus. They don’t need someone who’s going to run and hide behind their skirts when warning signs or red alerts come flashing.
These ‘participants’, especially the refugees and the orang Asli know more about danger, suffering and what it is to fight for their own rights than a thousand lawyers huddled together.
All I wish was that the Bar Council could stand by its own decision and tell Malaysians why they can’t go on with the rally. Afraid of rocking the boat or challenging the status quo might be honest reasons. Fear of being associated with anything Hindraf, could be another reason. Perhaps, fear of the ISA is the biggest fear of all. It will all be well understood. And I might even respect the Bar Council for its honesty. Alas…
Lucky for the group of “defiant” lawyers, or whatever you call people who are willing to stand their ground against a super-power and dictatorship who are nothing but shameless and cowards, whenever their authority is challenged.
Like the group of courageous lawyers, I stand firm in my belief that “caving in to the threats and hard tactics of the authorities will seriously set back the ongoing struggle for a just and free Malaysia”.