Yesterday the Bar Council organised a march from the Palace of Justice to the Prime Minister’s office in Putrajaya. You probably wouldn’t read much about it anywhere else but blogs and alternative news sources. Even if you did read it in mainstream media, your impression may have been that the lawyers ‘eat too full nothing to do’ and are ‘pawns of the opposition parties’ (who we know are incarnations of Dr. Evil.. -_-” ).

I wish to highlight an article written by the Bar secretary Lim Chee Wee, published on the Malaysian Bar Council website. I hope they do not sue me for not gaining prior permission to publish it in full on Monsterblog, but at this point in writing, the MBC site is down inaccessible. So, all for the greater good, eh? ;)

The Great and Mighty Spirit of the Malaysian Bar
by Lim Chee Wee

Yesterday was a momentous and magical day! I was inspired by the determination, courage, perseverence and strength of the Members of the Malaysian Bar who were undeterred by the roadblocks, the heavy presence of intimidating police and the rain. I would like to share with Members some of the highlights of yesterday which they may not be aware of.

From the day the Bar Council decided to organise the Walk for Justice, we were in constant contact with the press secretary of the Deputy Prime Minister who chaired yesterday’s Cabinet meeting and we informed him that the walk would be peaceful and that we intended to submit the 2 memorandums on the Royal Commission and the Judicial Appointment Commission. We were told that the DPM is sympathetic to our concern, did not object to the walk and would organise a representative to accept the memorandums on behalf of the Prime Minister.

Yesterday morning around 200 Members took the 7 buses from Dataran to go to the Palace of Justice. The journey was smooth until the road leading into Precinct 1 where we were stopped by a group of policemen who, through the Special Branch Officers who were at Dataran, knew that these were the 7 buses carrying lawyers and not sightseeing tourists. Our attempts to persuade them and phone calls to the press secretary, to allow the buses to continue in its journey did not bear fruit. We were told by George (the Treasurer) that other entry points were also blocked. We had no choice but to begin the walk from that spot which is around 6 kilometres to Palace of Justice. When told of this, the Members on the buses did not hesitate to come down and start walking. The policemen were surprised and watched us walk past them. There were other Members who were driving in their cars and they stopped to take on some passengers to continue with the journey.

The hats, fans, bottles of water and banners all came out and we soldiered on, led by Amer and Edmund.When we met a group of FRU personnel after a few hundred metres, there was slight anxiety in the air but we were encouraged to continue walking, which we did and we were not stopped. Members’ cars kept on stopping to carry some of us to the Palace, some of the Members who were carrying the banners continued walking; such was their determination and strength.

Shortly after we began the walk from the Palace of Justice towards the Prime Minister’s Office, we were informed by the press secretary that the police would request the Members to stop the Walk and that the appointment is cancelled. We carried on nonetheless. When 3 policemen wanted to speak to us after 1 kilometre during the walk, we continued walking past them. When the FRU personnel formed a line before Dataran Putrajaya, we continue walking and they backed off towards the main gates of the PM’s Office. We were then informed that the appointment is going ahead.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Bar showed the authorities how we can have a peaceful walk to express our grave concerns with the state of the Judiciary. Nazri is dead wrong to say that the Bar is an opposition political party. We oppose corruption and injustice. We do not oppose the Judiciary, in fact we support the honest and hardworking members of the Judiciary. We demand investigation into the state of the Judiciary due to allegations of corruption and the videoclip is but one incident.

I am proud to be associated with the Malaysian Bar, I am overwhelmed by my brothers and sisters in the Bar who walked fearlessly, I salute you. We will keep on walking if need be, and continue to knock on the doors until they open to truth and justice.*******************

Here is one of the many photos taken at the march; the photo below was sourced from Jeff Ooi’s site.

Lawyers march for justice

A fellow blogger, Lulu compiled a list of references to the march, which you can view here.