I’ve been asked to spread the word around about this, and I’ll gladly do so since I believe in the cause – though I will be unable to attend the walk myself, due to prior engagement.
Walk for Media Freedom
Date: 1 June 2008
Place: Dataran Merdeka to National Press Club (NPC)
Democracy in Malaysia is evolving and maturing.
Growth means change and growth often calls for one to leave behind zones of comfort and venture into unknown places. While some changes are slower to materialise, other changes that we can observe already taking place are truly refreshing.
One of those changes which will profoundly and positively impact democratic growth is the move towards Information Freedom.
From 9 am on Sunday the 1st of June 2008, Malaysian journalists and their fellow citizens will, together, demonstrate their keen desire for Media Freedom by taking a symbolic Walk at Dataran Merdeka.
To avoid problems with security laws, there will be NO PUBLIC GATHERING. Instead, participants are being asked to arrive on their own in ones and twos, show their respect to the National Flag at the Dataran, and then proceed immediately to the National Press Club which is just around the corner (location map and suggested walking route to be provided). Those who wish to do so are invited to wear something yellow, a reflection that this is a People’s Activity.
Underlining the importance of this initiative, YB Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has kindly consented to deliver the keynote address, explaining his views about the road to Media Freedom. Datuk Zaid is a Minister in the PM’s Department and the de facto Law Minister. From practically the first day of his appointment, he has said and done things that have pleased the people, especially the legal community, and has conveyed a very positive feeling about what he intends to accomplish.
Datuk Zaid has two requests – that journalists turn up in large numbers and that this program calls for ethics and accountability as much as it calls for freedom. Since this is the very thrust of this campaign and exactly what we are calling upon the writer community to deliver, it looks like we are very much in sync.
While we, the organisers, can direct the theme and thrust of the event, journalist participation will be determined by organisations such as the NUJ, the NPC and the various media groups. We look forward to strong support from them. This is an opportunity that they should not miss out on. Please pass the word around and tell every journalist whom you know about this event.
As to ordinary citizens and bloggers, here is your opportunity to show that you desire Media Freedom. Come and take the Walk with your journalist brethren and show your solidarity with them. We, as a people, can help to move our nation forward on the road to civil liberties.
See you there on Sunday 1st June 2008.
Benar blog: http://benarffm.wordpress.com
For programme details and map, visit the BENAR page.