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Bar Council Human Rights Debate 2008
9-12 December 2008

“UDHR @ 60 and still not all is right”

This year, in conjunction with Human Rights Day on the 10th of December 2008 and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, the Bar Council Human Rights Committee has decided that we need not walk. We should talk. We will be organizing a unique ‘Human Rights Debate’ tournament which seeks to attract participants from universities and schools, as well as members of the public to debate on the theme “UDHR @ 60 and still not all is right”. The Debate preliminary rounds will be held in KDU College (Petaling Jaya Campus). (more…)

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October 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm 2 comments

Closing Address by Zarizana Abdul Aziz, Deputy Chairperson, Bar Council Human Rights Committee

There is no other way to start this closing address than to say how impressed I am by the level of debate and public speaking over the last three days. The debaters and speakers were articulate; they were earnest. They embraced whole heartedly the human rights motions put before them.

More importantly, however, this debate symbolises what we already know we are capable of. Talking without offending; listening without judging; and understanding that just as my rights are mine and they are not negotiable, your rights are yours and they are not negotiable. (more…)

December 15, 2008 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

Zaid: We need to get our young people to recognise the rights they have

© Malaysian Bar (Used with permission)
Contributed by Lai Chee Hoe

ImageIn conjunction with the Human Rights Debate 2008 organised by the Bar Council Human Rights Committee, an International Human Rights Day gala dinner was held at Modesto’s, Desa Sri Hartamas.

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Lawyers and guests started to stream in at 7.00pm. The event started off with the welcome address by Andrew Khoo, the Co-Deputy Chair of the Human Rights Committee. Andrew brought along a bicycle wheel and voiced his disappointment over the recent arrests of members of Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT) by the police. He described human rights as a tyre covering and protecting the spokes and the frame of a wheel.

“You could ride the bicycle with a flat tyre but eventually you will damage the frame. Likewise if you ignore human rights, you undermine the basic structure of our country and you will eventually destroy it.” (more…)

December 12, 2008 at 7:49 am Leave a comment

International Human Rights Day Dinner

The dinner/party was smashing. Despite the rain, participants, guests and media started arriving as early as 630 to register themselves on the guestlist.

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Big up to the Canadian embassy for hosting the event.

Andrew Khoo giving his welcoming speech with a bicycle wheel

Andrew Khoo giving his welcoming speech with a bicycle wheel

Canadian rep giving his opening speech

Canadian rep giving his opening speech

 

Dato' Zaid Ibrahim delivering his keynote speech

Dato' Zaid Ibrahim delivering his keynote speech

Some light entertainment from Hidayah

Some light entertainment from Hidayah

And Black

And Black

President of the Malaysian Bar boogie woogie with the crowd

President of the Malaysian Bar boogie woogie with the crowd

After the dinner, the Adjudicator Core announced the teams for the Semi Final. More after this post.

December 12, 2008 at 4:22 am Leave a comment

HR Debate 2008: Keynote speech by Datuk Zaid Ibrahim – “Human Rights – Unplugged”

Ladies and gentlemen

1.    Human Rights- Unplugged. In the context of today’s topic, the term ‘unplugged’ came to us from the music industry. Musicians, so often dependent on electronic and electrical devices to create their unique sounds, literally pulled the plug and returned to their basic acoustic roots. Since the inauguration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights some 60 years ago, the term ‘human rights’ has acquired an accretion of concepts and shades of meaning that its essential meaning is often lost in the clutter. Ask the man in the street today what human rights are and if he answers at all, he is likely to suggest that it is a Western concept which plays little or no role in his daily life. Yet it is trite that we are all human, and as acknowledged by the Universal Declaration, that fact alone gives us certain inalienable rights -rights that cannot be removed or trampled over by individuals, groups or governments. Human rights unplugged, is in essence the fundamental principles we need to live by as a civil and civilised society – to treat each other as human beings should; with dignity, with  due regard to our status as equals , having the same rights and vulnerabilities as everyone around us. It is a state where the rule of law acts to protect people from abuse and oppression.

(more…)

December 11, 2008 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

It’s the Quarter Finals!

After 2 rounds of debating today, we finally reached the Quarter Finals.

The Adjudicator Core busy tabulating the score in the Nerve Centre aka Tab Room

The Adjudicator Core busy tabulating the scores in the Nerve Centre aka Tab Room

Deliberating, deliberating...

Deliberating, deliberating...

Elias punching score

Elias punching scores

And we have a winner.

In anticipation of the breaking results

In anticipation of the breaking results

Mac Faisal announcing the breaking results

Mac Faisal announcing the breaking results

The teams that made it to the Quarter Finals in descending order are:

NUS E

UKM A

IIU B

UT MARA 3

UM B

MMU 1

UM C

NUS C

UM A

IIU A

UT MARA 1

UT MARA 5

NUS A

Sivanathan A

NUS B

WUPID 1

Drawing lots to determine their position in the quarter final

Drawing lots to determine their positions in the quarter final

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Neill announcing the match-ups for quarter finals

Neill announcing the match-ups for quarter finals

And the motion is……

This House would create a national compulsory DNA Database

The teams who will make it to the semis will be announced later. Watch this space for updates.

December 11, 2008 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Day 3

-)

Our volunteers getting ready for another day of keeping time 🙂

The tournament continues! After a few hiccups (some debaters arrived late for roll-call, and some debaters could not form enough team) Day 2 started off with Round 4 at 11am and the motion was “This House believes that it is the state’s responsibility to feed, clothe, house and give free healthcare to the poor“. Soon after Round 4 ended, participants had their lunch and Round 5 continued at around 130pm with the motion “This House believes that Malay language should be the only of instruction in school“. (more…)

December 11, 2008 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

‘Sensitive’ topics to the fore at varsity debate

Malaysiakini by Rahmah Ghazali (Dec 10, 08 6:32pm)

In most instances, issues such as legalising same-sex unions and the government’s obligations to human rights would be considered ‘sensitive’ topics in Malaysia.

However, university students took these in their stride on Day One of the Bar Council’s four-day rolling debate on human rights.

udhr debate kdu 101208 02At Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU), which is hosting part of the event in conjunction with World Human Rights Day. Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

More than 100 students and members of the public turned their attention the theme ‘UDHR@60 and still not all is right’.

The Bar kept its word that the debate would not create any controversy, as the participants are to only talk about basic human rights. (more…)

December 11, 2008 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

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TRIVIA

The youngest participants in the debate are two Malacca High School students, Sanjiv Nair a/l Sasidharan and Seo Yiie Huern, both aged 17.

On Day 2, 10th December, the Organising Committee was told that the police did some enquiries on the debate at Hotel Malaya. Happy Human Rights Day to you too, Sir!

A local municipal councillor in Sepang is debating in the tournament. He is Praba Ganesan, formerly an editor at Malaysiakini.

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