Thursday, June 18, 2009

Of here and there.

I don't really know why lately I don’t have the drive to write on my blog. I guess I'm too preoccupied with so many things that have been happening around me. But life has been treating me well and I’m grateful for that. Last week was a week full of activities.

I still remember having the KLLAC management panel meeting, Stef informed every one that the Kuala Langat Local Council sent an invitation to KL Legal Aid Centre to send a speaker to talk about gansterisme and law at Dewan Orang Ramai Kampung Jenjaroom in Kuala Langat. One of the requirements was the speaker must be able to speak Mandarin as majority of the people are Chinese. My instant reaction was to look at Valen who was sitting across the room. It was a little bit funny that suddenly all eyes were drawn towards her, hoping that she would agree to be the speaker. After constant persuasion, she agreed on one condition, those who were involved in getting her to agree to be the speaker must tag along on Saturday night.

Sasha, Valen, Farhana, Farida and I began our journey to Kampung Jenjaroom at 6. We arrived at around 730pm. As were on our way to the nearest mosque, we spotted one durian stall by the road and decided to drop by afterwards. The durians were awesome, every one kept eating them like there was no tomorrow. The durian seller just laughed at our antics.

The talk began at 830pm and while waiting for the guests to arrive, we managed to distribute a few leaflets on legal aid, employment law, accidents and Malaysian legal system to the public. At about 9.00pm Valen started to deliver her talk. Even though she spoke in Mandarin and I could barely understand the content of her talk, I would have to say that she delivered her talk very well. Before we left, we managed to talk to a few local councilors who were present and they mentioned that they would love to have us to join the programs that they have arranged for the public.

At 1030pm, we left for Bagan Lalang to enjoy the seafood every one was craving since forever. The journey took almost 2 hours, ya, thanks to Sasha for driving negative 40km/hour!:P we ate and ate and ate. We all got home happily at 330am.

On Wednesday morning, a bunch of the first year students from Taylor’s College visited Legal Aid Room at Jalan Duta Court. After I finished my trial, I managed to spend some time with them. They were all eager to know about human rights and activism. I shared my experience with them and I was so happy to see the enthusiasm in each and every one of them to contribute something to the society. Murnie and Ravin came later and shared their experiences too. I find it refreshing to see these young people who are so concerned about the country and the people they barely know. I believe that one day, these young people would be in the frontline, doing the right thing in the name of principles and conscience. God willing.

In relation to our arrests last month, it was quite a relief to note that SUHAKAM will conduct a public inquiry on our arbitrary arrest in the course of discharging our duties to our clients after the Bar Council submitted a memorandum calling for a public inquiry. The Star, on 16 June 2009 reported Suhakam’s reaction on recent complaints lodged by the public on police highhandedness and blatant transgression on the right to counsel as enshrined by the Federal Constitution.

Seriously speaking, the police force, like it or not must respect this right. I believe every sane, reasonable and mentally unchallenged human beings can easily understand the provisions on fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, there’s no need to waste the tax payers money to employ some special officers to be on stand by at every police station to read out the provisions of the CPC and teach the Police what to do and what not to do.

All they need is a proper training on how to fight crimes and respect human rights at the same time which i believe all of them are well aware of as you can't just pick up any joe or any hassan, abu, or ah seng on the street and offer them a position where they have to uphold law and order right?.Read this and see for yourself what is hapenning at this very moment. Enough said on this we shall see what will happen next.

Last night, I had a meeting with GMI. Nalini and Kak Laila bought lotsa chocolates from Geneva and all of us just couldn’t stop eating them while having the meeting. Nalini reported to the committee members on what transpired at the United Nation Universal Periodic Report (UPR). GMI was given a slot at the UPR session to present on the current situation in relation to ISA detention. Kak Laila presented the report and supported by reports from the IHRC (Islamic Human Rights Commission). It was alarming to note that the delegation was shocked to learn that Malaysia still implements laws that licence detention without trial. Well, well well, a little reality check is timely I would say.

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