A handful of people created history yesterday by becoming the first speakers to take to the stage at the Speakers’ Square in Penang since its official launch on 4 May.
The Square was launched on Wednesday and yesterday, Sunday, was the first time it was available to speakers from the public.
See the report in The Star here:
Monday May 10, 2010
Speaker’s Square opens
By K. KASTURI DEWI and MANJIT KAUR
GEORGE TOWN: The sound of a ringing bell grabbed the attention of people enjoying the sea breeze at the Esplanade but it did not come from an ice-cream man.
Instead, it came from among a group of people who had gathered there to mark the start of a historic first day of Speaker’s Square.
Some 60 people had gathered at the Millenium Square concrete stage near the Esplanade seafront when Suaram secretariat member Ng Eng Kiat rang the bell at 6.15pm.Important platform: Tan speaking at the Speaker’s Square at the Esplanade in Penang yesterday.
The crowd included several plainclothes policemen taking down notes and photographs.
The Speaker’s Square will be opened to the public every Wed-nesday and Sunday from 6pm to 10pm.
The first speaker, engineer Tan Seng Hai from Bayan Baru who initiated an online petition on the proposed RM50mil Penang International Convention Centre, spoke for about 15 minutes.
“This is an avenue not only to discuss political issues but you can also talk about your mother-in-law and girlfriend.
“It is also a good place for artistes to express their feelings through song and dance,” he added.
Another speaker was founding member of the Speaker’s Square Andre Loh Yu Hsiong.
He said Malaysians should exercise their right under the Consti-tution which guaranteed their freedom of speech, right to peaceful assembly and the right to form associations in the spirit of democracy.
The third speaker R. Wilson, 42, voiced his frustrations with some of the Pakatan Rakyat representatives who refused to answer telephone calls or attend gatherings.
“Do we need such tiga suku (half-baked) reps who bring up unnecessary issues such as the May 13 riots, racial tension and lambasting the police?,” he asked.
Former state executive councillor Datuk Dr Toh Kin Woon spoke in Bahasa Malaysia for about five minutes.
“Since everybody spoke in English, I thought it would good to speak in Bahasa so that everyone here can understand,” he said.
Dr Toh said the square was a good avenue to voice out complaints, feelings and requests.
“We must continue to fight for the abolition of laws which restrict the people’s freedom,” he added.