My first month being in practice, though unofficially, is without doubt full of colours. Yesterday, Min and I braved ourselves to join the lawyers to protest against PDRM for manhandling a senior lawyer of a prominent reputation as a human right lawyer and denying the right to counsel for an arrested person. We did not know what to expect as it was our virgin protest. We left office at 11a.m. Went lost at Lake Garden to find Bukit Aman Police Station, Lake Garden Entrance. As we were way too early, we had our breakfast after greeting Kak Lat. Few minutes later, Benjy’s sister came and greeted us. She asked if we were among the lawyers who came to support the memorandum which were to be handed to the IGP.
Later we were signaled to gather right in front of Bukit Aman Police Station. Few familiar faces from refugee rights workshop. In deed, they remembered me for who I am. After the gugugagagosip session, we got back to business. A trainee lawyer went around passing over the memorandum to a crowd of at least 150 lawyers and concerned citizens. Banner ‘Pertahankan Artikel 5 Perlembagaan Persekutuan’ was put up by the lawyers. Min and I knowing the least number of lawyers presence were playing our roles as backbenchers. Alert with our surroundings, we became aware that the policemen had rounded us in a circle. Fear for the worse, we made a pact that whatever is to happen, we are in it together. Ah, press was there too. We laughed at the thoughts of our faces being featured in the prime news or the national newspapers. We both held the banner for some time before few others took the job over.
As we had a luncheon farewell gathering for Min as it was her last day, we didn’t stay long. When we left the lawyers insisted the IGP himself to come out to enable them to give the memorandum to him.
My virgin protest was in deed a peaceful one.
I came to know only later that most of the lawyers were prepared to be arrested by the police. I heard of one who intentionally did not bring anything but himself for he feared he would lose his belongings if they were to be arrested.
I can’t write much now but will write later on my first time lobbying the Members of Parliament on urban refugee policy and what I think of Norizan Salleh’s case.