LAWYER turned human rights advocate Ambiga Sreenevasan urged people to get involved in the political process if they want to see justice prevail.
At the “Day of Solidarity – pilgrimage towards justice and peace” event at the CCM Ecumenical Centre, the former president of the Bar Council said there was a lack of justice and erosion in the rule of law in Malaysia.
“The idea of acting justly is not ingrained in our institutions,” Ambiga told some 300 people at the event today.
Citing the recent case pertaining to Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, she said his attackers faced a fine of RM100 compared with activist Lena Hendry’s fine of RM10,000 for screening the Sri Lankan civil war documentary No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka.
“And to add to it, the attorney-general intends to appeal the fine. It is already RM10,000 too much,” said the National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president.
Ambiga also encouraged people to take up a more active role in the political process by helping register more voters and volunteering at polling or counting agents.
“Everyone should go back and register 30 new voters,” said Ambiga. According to her, there are as many as four million unregistered voters.
Borrowing from George Grant’s book The Micah Mandate, Ambiga said besides doing justice, Malaysians also needed to love mercy and walk humbly.
“This is about balance, peace and attainment of peace where leaders must show humility. Once you are in power, it must not go to your heads.”
One of the policies she hopes the opposition led by Pakatan Harapan will install if it comes into power is to set term limits for ministers.
“They should be limited to two terms. That’s how to keep getting the change we want.”
Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim also asked the crowd to be braver and focus on issues pertaining to justice and fairness.
“I think we live in a country where people are divided by religious issues. And how non-Muslims must not get involved, but let’s get involved in everybody’s affairs.
“Non-Muslims must also come to the defence of Muslims and vice versa. Let’s work on the principles of justice on issues like child marriages. You have to help good people finish off the bad people,” he said.
Social activist Marina Mahathir said it was important not to get distracted by what was happening now, adding that Malaysians must continue their solidarity with one another.
Also present was the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow, who explained that pilgrimage is a metaphor for people to journey to holiness and ultimate good, adding that justice and peace are expressions of this. – April 9, 2017.