From the Selangor Times 2 December 2011. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!
Dear Lord Bobo – So the lawyers walked, but the Peaceful Assembly Bill was passed a few hours later anyway. Is it guaranteed to become law now? If so, wasn’t the walk just a waste of time? (Jalan-Jalan, via email)
The Peaceful Assembly Bill was indeed passed on Tuesday. However, it is not yet guaranteed to become law, as it has to first be approved by the Dewan Negara (which sits next week). If it’s passed by the Dewan Negara, it then goes for Royal Assent, and thereafter needs to be gazetted before becoming law.
Oh, who are we kidding? Yes, the Peaceful Assembly Bill is as guaranteed to become law as a monkey is guaranteed to chomp into a fat, juicy, ripe banana. But that does not mean that the Walk For Freedom was a waste of time.
First, His Supreme Eminenceness must declare that we were there for the Walk for Freedom. Of course we were. Although Lord Bobo was not there physically, we were ably represented by scores of LoyarBurokkers. Wherever and whenever there is a good cause to be fought for, and justice to be upheld, the minions of the monkey can be counted on to be there. And by all accounts, it was a beautiful walk.
Approximately 1,000 people gathered in the cloudy sunshine of the Lake Gardens, chatted, laughed, smiled, hugged and bonded, before taking a short walk together towards the Parliament building.
Although the walk was led by the Bar Council, there were hundreds of non-lawyers present, walking together for their freedom, and the freedom of future Malaysians.
Shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand, we walked, sang, chanted and smiled. The memorandum was handed over to Parliament, and after a short closing speech by the Bar Council president, the people dispersed peacefully.
Could there ever be a more beautiful picture of participatory democracy in action? The rakyat came together to voice their dissatisfaction, in a civilised and peaceful manner. No one needed to be gassed or drenched with chemically laced water. No one needed to be chased and cornered like animals. No one needed to be beaten up with sticks.
This picture-perfect democracy was stained by the fact that the government chose not to listen to the people.
Unfortunately, with the Peaceful Assembly Bill imminently to be passed into law, these gatherings may be a thing of the past. Lord Bobo hopes not. Lord Bobo does not believe that the many right-minded and justice-seeking Malaysians will allow their rights to be trampled on in such a manner.
To answer your question: No, it does not mean that the Walk for Freedom was a waste of time. It is never a waste of time to stand up for justice. It is never a waste of time to speak up and be heard if you are speaking up for what is right.
It is disappointing that the government decided to proceed and rush the Bill through with such haste, but His Supreme Eminenceness knows that the LoyarBurokkers – and all the good men and women who walked on Tuesday – will not be so easily discouraged. Those who were there can be proud to say that they went out of their way to fight for the rights of all Malaysians.
Have a question for Lord Bobo? Call on His Supreme Eminenceness by emailing [email protected], stating your full name, and a pseudonym (if you want), or tweeting your questions by mentioning @LoyarBurok and using the hashtag #asklordbobo. What the hell are you waiting for? Hear This, and Tremblingly Obey (although trembling is optional if you are somewhere very warm)! Liberavi Animam Meam! I Have Freed My Spirit!
You can read archives of all the Ask Lord Bobo columns by clicking here. These are the divinely-inspired words of His Supreme Eminenceness Lord Bobo Barnabus PhD SP GBE OMGWTFBBQ.