A hero: Someone who performs a good deed, has a good heart and is an example to the rest of us.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar is a lawyer and an activist who has been at the forefront of efforts to promote the Rule of Law and civil liberties in Malaysia.  He has established himself as a key member of civil society and is a recognised opinion leader on matters of law and governance.
Imtiaz obtained a Masters in Law (LLM) from the University of Hong Kong in 1997, and in 2005, he graduated with a Masters in International Human Rights Law with distinction from Oxford University.
Called to the Malaysian Bar in 1994 he has practiced law since, primarily in the areas of civil and commercial, constitutional and public interest litigation. He also practices selectively in areas of criminal law. He is a member of the Bar Council, and is involved in the administrative aspects of the system of justice.
Imtiaz is most well known for his work in human rights law and has appeared in many of the key public interest cases of the last decade. His recent cases have included:
·        Counsel for the Bar Council in the case of Lina Joy (2006).
·        Successfully challenging the ISA detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin (2008).
·        Counsel to the Government of Selangor in the inquest into the death of Teoh Beng Hock (2009-10),
·        Revoking the ban of a publication by Sisters In Islam (2010).
Imtiaz has been the president of the Malaysian National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) since 2006. He has also played an active role in Article 11, a coalition of NGOs whose main objective is to promote awareness of the equal protection afforded to all citizens with particular reference to freedom of religion. He was also the co-founder of Project Malaysia, aimed at promoting a non-partisan, objective critical discourse on core Malaysian issues.
He is recognised for his outstanding contributions to Malaysian society and in 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Index on Censorship, Freedom of Expression Award by the London based ‘Index on Censorship’. The award is given to outstanding human rights activists who have set legal precedents in the fight against injustice.
The following is an excerpt from an article ‘The truth about Malaysia’, written by Imtiaz in April 2009.
“Architects of autocracies would benefit tremendously from studying the Malaysian model. It stands as a shining example of how, given the right combination of greed, ambition, maladministration and contempt for the rule of law, any democracy can be recast into an autocracy while preserving the veneer of democratic process…..
…The statute books contain a plethora of anti-democratic laws that …..impede free access to vital information, they allow the suppression of legitimate dissent, a process aided by a seeming willingness on the part of key institutions of the state, such as the judiciary and the police force, to serve the interests of the government in such ways as they can. The police routinely clamp down on opposition rallies and NGO demonstrations while the judiciary cannot be relied upon to defend civil liberties.”
ref: All the above information was obtained from the internet

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Belinda for penning a few lines about people like this, who indeed are the true heroes of our country.