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Bar Council to hold forum on privacy

THE Malaysian Bar Council will be holding a public forum on respecting the right to privacy on Friday, 27 Feb 2009.

The speakers scheduled for the night are Dr Dzulkefli Ahmad, PAS MP for Kuala Selangor; Fui K Soong, chief executive officer of the MCA’s Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research; Sonya Liew, from the Malaysian Bar Council; and Andrew Khoo, also from the bar.

In its 20 Feb statement, the Bar Council also responded to the recent circulation of private images of Selangor state exco Elizabeth Wong. Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said, “Our laws are inadequate to deal with a breach of privacy, but we, the public, can take personal responsibility in ensuring that the spread of this information is stopped dead in its tracks.”

Ambiga also called on the media to uphold the highest principles of responsible, ethical and respectful journalism, and accede to Wong’s “heartfelt plea to be left alone”.

Ambiga noted that “politicians from both sides of the divide have condemned” the circulation of images that were a matter of Wong’s private life.

“We are however disappointed that she continues to be hounded by the media despite her decision to resign from all posts, and that she is compelled to seek sanctuary abroad as she is unable to find solitude within our own shores,” said Ambiga.  

To this end, the public forum will aim to address issues such as “the right to privacy, the link between a politician’s private and public life, and whether adequate legal safeguards exist to protect an individual’s right to privacy.”

The forum will be held at the Bar Council auditorium from 5pm to 7.30pm. The public can register or make inquiries at 03 2031 3003, with Mazni (at extension 101) or Faizal (extension 185).

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