Circular 73/12: Human Rights Day 2012: Seminar on the Pressing Issues Faced by Migrant Workers and People with Disabilities (PWD) in Malaysia (12 Dec 2012)

I am pleased to inform you that in conjunction with the World Human Rights Day 2012, the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Johore Bar is organizing a Seminar on the Pressing Issues faced by Migrant Workers and People With Disabilities (PWD) in Malaysia.

Particulars of the event are as follows:

Date : 12th December 2012 (Wednesday)

Time : 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. (Registration at 1.30 p.m.)

Venue : Johore Bar Auditorium

Level 7, Menara TJB

Participation is open to Members of the Bar, Pupils-in-Chambers and non-members of the Bar (by invitation)

We take pleasure in inviting you to this Seminar.


About the speakers:


Director & Co-founder of Tenaganita (NGO promoting the rights of migrant workers & other oppressed and poor people in Malaysia)

In 1986, Fernandez led campaigns to stop violence against women. Various women’s groups mushroomed as a result of these campaigns. One was the All Women’s Action Society, of which Fernandez was president for five years. It is now one of the strongest women’s advocacy groups in Malaysia. The Domestic Violence Act, Sexual Harassment Code, and changes to the laws related to rape are all results of its work. That same year she became a founding member of Asia-Pacific Women Law and Development (APWLD). This regional organisation was designed to bring together women lawyers and activists to look at women’s law across the Far East. She was its director for more than 10 years.

From 1992 she was the chair of the Pesticide Action Network, working for the elimination of pesticides and developing sustainable agriculture, which led to campaigns on health, against GMOs, and to take back control of seeds.

In 1995 Irene Fernandez published a report on the living conditions of migrant workers entitled “Abuse, Torture and Dehumanised Conditions of Migrant Workers in Detention Centres”. She was arrested in 1996 and charged with ‘maliciously publishing false news’. After seven years of trial, she was found guilty in 2003 and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment. Released on bail pending her appeal, her passport was held by the court and, as a convict, she was barred from standing as a parliamentary candidate in the 2004 Malaysian general election. Despite her restricted civil rights, she carried on her everyday life and continued her work.

In 2005, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award for “her outstanding and courageous work to stop violence against women and abuses of migrant and poor workers”.

Irene Fernandez’s appeal at the High Court resumed on 28th October 2008. On 24th November 2008, Justice Mohd Apandi Ali overturned the court ruling and acquitted her of the earlier conviction.


Advocate & Solicitor, Messrs Faizal Yusof & Co., Kota Bharu, Kelantan Darul Naim

Chairperson of The Council of Kelantan PWD

Chairman of the Communication, Advocacy & Human Rights Committee of the Presidential Council of the Society of the Blind in Malaysia

Mohammad Faizal was called to the Malaysian Bar in April 2001. Being blind, Mohammad Faizal understands firsthand what struggles People With Disability (PWD) go through in their daily lives. Despite his disability, he was top in academics having won several school and state awards while in school. He is also a member of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee and is the voice for the PWD having organized several forums relating to PWD and the PWD Act 2008.

Mohammad Faizal continues to be active in several blind societies in Malaysia and travels extensively to educate people on the rights of the PWD. The blog ‘Bangkit OKU’ was his brainchild and was set up to create awareness to the issues faced by the PWD.

He holds a LL.B (Hons) 2nd class Upper from the University of Malaya.


As places are limited in the Auditorium, please book your seats early by way of registration. Please complete the enclosed Registration Form and fax to the Secretariat of the Johore Bar not later than 12th December 2012.

Please take note that attendance at this Seminar will earn you 2 CPD Points.

Event code: 12122012/JHB/JHB2017/2






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