20 December 2008 saw the launch of a new rights-based collective of law students. Numbering more than 100 already from over five private colleges, it will grow in strength very fast very soon.
Malaysian Law Students Alliance or “MALSA”. Remember the name.
The Alliance’s flyer on its establishment reads:
…There is growing awareness of peoples’ responsibilities to each other and to the planet we share. This is encouraging even though so much suffering continues to be inflicted based on infringements of Civil Rights & Liberties, disregard for the environment and disrespect of health. With such recognition, we as Malaysian Law Students have a key role to play. We have an obligation as Malaysian and global citizens to assist in bringing a new hope for the future, and to support people everywhere that display a willingness to champion and defend the rights and freedoms of their fellow human beings.
Two of its 8 objectives are to:
! be the voice of law students in Malaysia in various issues concerning human rights and civil liberties
! to promote awareness of human rights and civil liberties and the importance of the rule of law amongst law students
Judging by the ferocious lecture on constitutionalism and human rights by MALSA’s speaker just now – will try to obtain the text – it looks like the Alliance will be a force to be reckoned – perhaps?
Members from the Bar’s National Young Lawyers and Human Rights committees had the privilege of attending the simple launch, and some spoke words of encouragement:
- how law students will be the future leaders of the Bar and the country
- that lawyers are equipped with the necessary skills and tools to play a leadership role in the country
- that with a strong collective base, lawyers (and the rakyat) will be effective agents of change and a force for reform
- that more political power must now revert to the rakyat, and this requires a combination of collaboration of resources and people, and the sharing of information
- that the call to legal ‘arms’ to carry on the perjuangan of our elders in defence of human rights and the rule of law is an on-going one
- that the Bar welcomes MALSA and will work with MALSA where/when requested to do so
No wonder keen eyes reported SB personnel watching proceedings closely from outside of the restaurant it was held. Undeterred, the event went ahead.
Where art the local universities’ equal to this? I am sure there are already some? ‘ALSA Malaysian Chapter’ – time to make haste, quicken pace, rise and join the MALSA force.
The future looks bright for the Malaysian Bar. There is more light now.