The late Karpal Singh was certainly one of those people that I group together in the first category.
He was a fine lawyer but he was a finer politician and law maker. One year ago, he met with an unfortunate road accident which claimed his life.
One year later when the Penang Institute decided to hold this forum on the country's Sedition Act 1948, it became appropriate that the forum would be known as the Karpal Singh Forum, in honour of the man who campaigned ceaselessly against this law and who was himself charged twice under it.
The timing for this Forum just couldn't have been more appropriate. Days earlier, the federal government had bulldozed through Parliament various amendments to the Sedition Act which made this despicable Act even more draconian.
Steven Thiru, the present president of the Malaysian Bar, gave a very explicit explanation of everything that are wrong with the Act in its newly amended form. Ambiga Sreenevasan, a former president of the Malaysian Bar, asked for pending charges against those who criticised the federal government to be dropped. Mahadev Shankar, a former Court of Appeals Judge, said the courts were the last hope against unjust laws. More here and here.