Sunday, January 6, 2008

Our view on the Bar Council (and the Malaysian Bar)

M Manoharan, P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, - have they been forgotten? - 2008/01/05 21:07 M Manoharan, P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau are lawyers and are of 4 of 5 Human Rights Defenders that have been arrested and detained under the ISA and I am most disappointed because all that I have seen the Bar Council (and the Malaysian Bar) do is issue ONE press statement - and even in that statement, the names of those arrested were not even mentioned.

Since then, we ho have an on-going "No Detention Without Trial Campaign" seems to have been not doing anything in the form of a campaign to immediately and unconditionally secure their release.

The Malaysian Bar has allowed itself to be distracted by other matters --- and this is SCARY --- and it surely does not install much confidence in other lawyers who have stood up and may stand up for the cause of justice without fear and favour.

Do tell us also about the steps taken to assist these lawyers as far as their practice is concerned? Do tell us also about the steps taken to assist their family and dependents?

I expected a FULL-BLOWN campaign initiated and led by the Malaysian Bar to secure the release of not just these 5 but also the others who still continue to be detained under laws that allow for detention without trial.

I know that elections are over - but that do not mean that our leaders of the Bar are permitted time-off to rest, relax - celebrate Hari Raya, Christmas and New Year as our fellow brethren in law languish in Kamunting.

I know that our chairman of the Human Rights committee was also recently arrested and charged in court - but that is no excuse for procrastination in action demonstrated thus far...I wanted to call for the immediate resignation of Edmund Bon - but let us give him and his committee a chance to prove me wrong in my criticisms.

Some of us may not have liked Uthayakumar and his methods - but that does not excuse us for our lack of real action.

THIS must be the priority of the Malaysian Bar - let us wear arm-bands, badges, etc... in protest. Let us do a signature campaign. Let our President and the Vice President go on an hunger strike --- let us do something serious here to get those detained under these NDWT laws released immediately...

Ambiga, Ragu, State Bar Chairs, ....let us BEGIN..

In solidarity,

Charles Hector

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place-Mahtma