Thursday, November 15, 2007


Festival of Rights 2007

‘As I Believe: Freedom of Expression through Art, Music, Culture and Conscience’
9 December 2007

Part I: 0730 SOGO Complex - Peoples’ Freedom Walk
Part II: 0900 Central Market - Festivities and Conversations

Human Rights Day is celebrated worldwide on 10 December every year. The Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee continues the celebration of the ‘Day’ by hosting the “Festival of Rights” once again.

The theme this year is “As I Believe: Freedom of Expression through Art, Music, Culture and Conscience” showcasing the indivisibility, interdependence and inter-relation of various rights in our daily lives.

The celebration will be in two parts:

(1) Part I starts at with the ‘Peoples’ Freedom Walk’ from the SOGO Complex through Dataran Merdeka to Central Market. We will congregate in front of the SOGO Complex at 0700. This Walk is open to everyone who is welcome to bring along banners highlighting human rights issues that they are concerned about.

(2) Part II will be held at the staging area of Central Market. Participants will be served refreshments while enjoying the festivities. Among others, a multi-religious panel will discuss conscience rights in the ‘Conversations’ segment titled “When Faith Meets Law”. We have invited key religious leaders from the major faiths (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Taoism) to take part in this session where everyone is encouraged to express their views.

Further, we will be treated to performances by some of our ‘home-grown’ artists/activists such as Fahri Azzat, Noreen Ariff, Syamsuriatina Ishak, Lai Chee Hoe, Dipendra Harshad Rai, Dr Wan Zawawi, Amir Muhammad and bands, ‘Cassarrah’ and ‘The Wave’. There will also be surprise guest appearances!

To recap, the programme is as follows:

0700 Congregate in front of SOGO Complex
0730 Short briefing on the Peoples’ Freedom Walk
0800 Walk from SOGO to Central Market through Dataran Merdeka
0900 Welcome speech by Chair, Human Rights Committee
0910 Breakfast
0920 Poetry Reading
0935 Conversations: “When Faith Meets Law”
(colouring session for children commences)
1145 Cultural performance by the Orang Asli (Kumpulan Kebudayaan SPNS)
1215 “I wish that ……” session
1245 Stage performances by various artists/activists
1400 Closing speech by President, Bar Council

We hope that everyone will be able to join us and take part in this celebration. There will also be booths to cater for all ages at Central Market - the kids, the young and the old.

Please email by 23 November 2007 if you shall be participating in order that we may make the necessary arrangements.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Rezib Mohamad, at 03-20316367 or

Edmund Bon Tai Soon
Human Rights Committee


Risha said...

Time the rakyat of Malaysia woke up to their birth rights. Good Work. Keep it up! said...

even though the Walk has been cancelled, my family and i aim to be there at the Central Market to express our support for the cause and event. I urge every one to pass the good word around so that we will be able share with the rest of the world our thoughts and views on this serious issue of fundamental human rights ( eg. the right to peaceful assembly/gathering )...let us all remind the people walking the corridors of power that we do not live in a "police state" . " ...sometimes it is not enough just to think but one needs to act ! Before it is too late for all of us !! Cheers!

Cheeweng said...

My comments are directed at those Malaysians who voice loudly their resentment in coffee-shops and the Internet. Come out and celebrate this Festival of Rights to remind yourself of your consitutional rights, and not be cowed into submission. This event has given all fair-minded Malaysians an opportunity to express themselves that they will not yield to a suppressive and oppressive government. Even though the walk has been officially denied a permit, there is no law which says that I cannot walk from Sogo Complex to the Central Market on Sun. 9 Dec. at 7.30am. And walk I shall. So put on your most comfortable shoes - walking is a good exercise for everyone, especially talkers!

Cheeweng said...

Oops, please allow me to correct the statement I made previously regarding that "the walk has been officially denied a permit". On a second reading, I respect the Bar Council's "position that the requirement for a police permit, under the Police Act, to hold the event would be a violation of the people's constitutional right to peaceful assembly." Anyway, thank you to the Bar Council for organising this festival.