Beware, new collective in town – introducing MALSA!

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.

(emphasis mine)

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.

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Life's a sufferance. Lawyering a bore. As Edmund continues various escape techniques to be rid of Lord Bobo’s influence, he crusades with UndiMsia! movers to build strange youth love movements around the country. And so he tweets @edmundbon and practises the black magic art of advocacy at www.BONadvocates.com

Posted on 21 December 2008. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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8 Responses to Beware, new collective in town – introducing MALSA!

  1. Pingback: Loyarburok

  2. Wait, such things existed?

    You guys need to ally yourselves with public Unis more.

  3. The Asian Law Students Association of Malaysia or MALSA as it was known in the 1990s still exists, just that we don't identify it as MALSA today but simply ALSA Malaysia. I understand that in the 1990s we used to have ALSA here but then it died off. Only recently a group of my seniors here in UKM managed to get in touch with the ALSA International Board thereafter managing to revive it. Now we identify ourselves as ALSA Malaysia and no longer MALSA.

    As a member of ALSA Malaysia I hope this clarifies further the misunderstanding and I hope it wouldn't be a problem for them to use the term MALSA.

  4. Dara Waheda

    Thank you for the info Gregory. i guess it is obvious if MALSA is no longer in existence since we all have graduated and i dont know if anyone in the student society is interested in keeping MALSA. if im not mistaken Yusmadi Yusof who is now an MP was one of the founding member of MALSA and a student from IIU who is now an advocate & solicitor is or was the Pro-Tem Chairman.

    Well, i have no objection to have another alliance in fact we should welcome it but being part of MALSA (which is now no longer in existence i guess), im a bit "tidak selesa" if Alliance will be called MALSA as MALSA do have a bit of sentimental value in me.

    Dipen, yes you are correct, it remains ALSA Malaysia Chapter prior to the establishment of the Pro-Tem Committee. I dont know when it was established but i think it was in 1998 and i have not heard about it after i graduated in 2002.

  5. Gregory

    Thank you, Dara and Lynn for your opinions and highlighting this. Well, from what i have gathered, you are correct that MALSA which was established in 1990's was part of ALSA, but today its only known as Asean Law Students Association (ALSA). The Malaysian Law Students Alliance is a collective of not only law faculties of public universities but also private colleges and universities. Our core functions are slightly different from ALSA, however we are in the process of working together to be louder.

  6. H R Dipendra

    I stand corrected but MALSA and ALSA are one of the same thing. Because it was based in Malaysia, ALSA came to be known as MALSA. So, its still ALSA for all intents and purposes.In fact, ALSA had an Convention with its SEA counterparts last year.

    Strictly speaking ALSA exists but not MALSA. It was merely a convienient term of reference.

  7. I agree with Dara,if Alliance is not the same as the Association, I think they should change their name as there is already a Malaysian Law Students Association consisting of the law faculties from the public universities. The MALSA then was very active and we even had an ALSA Convention in 1996 ( I think this was held at the Phillipines) 1997 (IIUM) and thereafter MALSA Convention in 1998 and thereafter. Having two groups with the same acronym is confusing.

  8. Dara Waheda

    Is this MALSA the same entity as Malaysian Law Students' Association (MALSA) which is formed back in 1990s and which was part of ALSA? I think students from IIU 1990s batch can confirm this as the Pro-Tem President of MALSA back then was a student from IIU. If this MALSA not the same MALSA that we the 1990s student were part of, then wouldnt it misleading to also use MALSA as their catchy name? Just a personal opinion :-)