By Quek Yiing Huey
The Black 505 rally camp that has been set up at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, is a worry to Bar Council representatives even though the rally itself was peaceful.
The co-chair of the human rights committee of the Council is concerned that what happened at Occupy Dataran will happen to SAMM (Suara Anak Muda Malaysia), the youth movement that has set up the camp. Andrew Khoo (pic) said he is worried that city hall authorities (DBKL) will evacuate and arrest campers like before.
His greatest concern is for the safety of both the DBKL authorities and SAMM should things get out of control.
"I'd like to urge the authorities to be a bit more accommodating," he said. "There are by-laws but in this situation it would be better if they had a more generous approach to this in the name of democracy."
He said he would like to see police continue to be as accommodating as they had been earlier in the day.
Khoo and 15 other Council representatives were out as observers at the various starting points of the march to Padang Merbok and later at the field. Lawyers from the Malacca Bar helped as well.
Based on his observations, it was peaceful and police facilitated the traffic. "It's good because this is the role that the police should play - promoting freedom of expression rather than blocking it."
He said it was yet another important step in the journey to strengthen democracy in Malaysia. - June 22, 2013.
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