KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar will be going to the streets in protest against the Sedition Act.
This comes following a vote at the Bar’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to immediately organise a peaceful protest in the form of a walk, and further such action in pushing for the repeal of the 66-year-old law.
Bar president Christopher Leong said the walk was one of eight components of a motion passed by its members that plan to protest against the recent slew of sedition cases.
“We cannot afford to walk on eggshells around draconian laws. If we are genuine, the way forward is through debate,” he said during a press conference after the EGM at Wisma MCA yesterday.
Leong said they would need time to plan the logistics of the walk, though it would definitely be done in the near future as “three to six months are too long to wait”, he said.
He also confirmed that the rally would not use the name “Walk For Justice”, which had been used in previous rallies by the Bar.
The motion was voted in, with 701 votes in support, 13 against, while 272 others abstained.
The total of 986 members who attended the EGM only represented about 6.2% of the total 15,693 members.
Among the other seven components of the motion passed include a call for the Malaysian Government to uphold freedom of information and debate, academic and journalistic freedom, a call for the Attorney-General to withdraw all pending cases, charges and appeals, and for the Government to introduce a moratorium against the use of the Act.
“The Malaysian Bar condemns the use and abuse of the Sedition Act, in particular the selective and excessive sentences meted out by the lower courts,” said Leong.Related story:
Adli jailed a year for sedition