The Walk is on!

I Walk for Media Freedom 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 friends/colleagues and show your solidarity with them. We can help to move our nation forward on the road to civil liberties.

See you there on Sunday 1st June 2008


14 Responses to The Walk is on!

  1. […] For more information, go to the BENAR site here. […]

  2. […] in Kuala Lumpur and head for the National Press Club on 1st June 2008 (Sunday) at 9.00 am. Check this out for […]

  3. Taking A Brisk Walk In Support Of Media Freedom…

    BENAR, a civil society initiative established to address the sad state of journalism and restore truth in reporting, will be organising a symbolic walk at Dataran Merdeka on June 1, 2008 at 9.00 am (HT : Lucia). The event is……

  4. Web Sutera says:

    I’m ex-journalist. Saya sokong.

  5. […] recently received an email from Lucia Lai and was requested by her to publicise a walk organised by BENAR which will be taking place this […]

  6. datocylee says:

    i support free media !!!!!

  7. can anybody put it on as a facebook event?

  8. How about “Come and take the Walk with your journalist friends/colleagues” instead of “brethren” so that women journalists are not made invisible and are recognised for their work, too?

    Ms Surin,

    I do agree with you and please accept our apologies for the inadvertent lapse. It will be amended. And we hope to see you this Sunday.


  9. Gua Bay Song says:

    Who the **** does Haris Ibrahim and SV Singam think they are?

    Who are they to tell reporters what to write?

    Who are they to ask reporters to walk with them?

    Start your own newspaper lah!

    Gua Bay Song,

    Leeting out steam on Haris Ibrahim for something that BENAR is doing is grossly unfair.

    Haris is not involved in planning the Walk on June 1.

    This is what I wrote in response to “A Journalist” over at Zorro Unmasked.

    “The Walk on Sunday, June 1 is initiated by BENAR for Free and Fair media.

    The Blogs are (simply) helping to disseminate information about this Walk.

    BENAR understands the environment that people like you have to work under. We are not against you or your colleagues. The media in Malaysia is not free and has not been fair. People want something better in our media and I do not think you will disagree with that.

    Thus BENAR initiated this attempt to bring representatives from the government, journalists, citizens and bloggers together for the first time and we can only hope that this will be a small step towards reaching a common ground that all parties desire.

    I hope you will change your mind and encourage your colleagues as well.

    Thank you.”

    Johann Foo

  10. PEMALIK says:

    We support fee media.
    Media should not be distorting of the issues facing society in Malaysia today..
    However, the abuse through media and indiscriminate censorship above National Interest is not the right things to do.. We must Free ourselves from this Bondage.. Face reality and the new borderless world or face a bleak future.. REaders are mature.. Bad publicity and coverage is distasteful…

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