Going Shopping: Lawyers on the march


Four years after lawyers went on a Walk For Justice from judicial complex to the PM’s Office in Putrajaya, they are again undertaking one of the duties required of them under the Legal Profession Act.

Shopping promotion

  • 7.30pm today
    Candlelight vigil
    Bar Council
    15 Lebuh Pasar, Kuala Lumpur
    MAP: http://is.gd/BSW9hw
  • 2pm-3pm tomorrow
    KLCC Walkabout
    KLCC Park near the Water Fountain
    Details: http://is.gd/JiGhib
  • 11.30am Tuesday Nov 29
    Bar Council’s Walk For Freedom
    from Lake Club to Parliament House
    MAP: http://is.gd/BSW9hw

In order to meet the statutory requirement — to uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour — lawyers have decided a peaceful assembly to challenge the Peaceful Assembly Bill brought before Parliament this week, which is scheduled for speedy passage through the house.

Malaysia’s lawyers will thus “Go Shopping”, an activity first popularised by journalist and wildlife activist Sabry Zain in the late 1990s, when enthusiastic crowds thronged Batu Road, the old shopping district of Kuala Lumpur, in a spontaneous procession filling up the streets for hundreds of metres, playing hide-and-seek with happy blue-uniformed government supporters earning double time with batons, truncheons and tear gas.

Go Shopping with Aunty at KLCC

Other civil society organisations are also rallying support for the right of the people to “Go Shopping”. Auntie Bersih (Annie Ooi), a recognised expert in the art of taking long walks through the city centre in a yellow T-shirt, has promised to turn up at Kuala Lumpur City Centre on Saturday for a public protest organised by academic activist Wong Chin Huat.

Chin Huat, a political scientist, is one of many people dissatisfied with amendments to the Universities and University Colleges Act under the federal government’s reform programme, in which simple-minded university students unable to think for themselves will be protected from thinking about politics and encouraged to concentrate on studies that do not require any thinking.

Freedom Not To Think Bill

Federal government officials, compliant university academics and the mass media are united in seeing the virtues of reforms that do not require thinking on the part of university administrations or their students. Academics such as Wong Chin Huat, however, firmly believe that students who practise some thinking by doing so may protect federal government officials from thinking about sex and other acts.

Freedom From Your Politics on Campus Bill

The Universities and University Colleges Act (often shortened to UUCA) may now be cited as the Freedom From Your Kind of Politics in Campus Act. It may also be shortened to the U Just Don’t C Act.

Freedom of Shopping (Tourism) (Non-Traffic Jams) Bill

The draft legislation on peaceful non-public non-protests may now also be cited as the Freedom To Keep Shops Open Bill, or alternatively the Freedom Of Foreign Tourists Frightened By Coloured People Bill, and also as the Freedom Of Retired Army Generals Not To Get Stuck In Traffic Jams After Golf Bill.

The federal government’s frantic race to reform, however, suffered a minor setback in public relations when Malaysia was beaten to it by Burma, the military-run leper state of Asean which has not had a Parliament in 50 years let alone the right to protest.