Article 10 of the Constitution of Malaysia guarantees Malaysian citizens the right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.
(a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression;
(b) all citizens have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms;
(c) all citizens have the right to form associations.
Penang becomes the first state in the history of Malaysia to consecrate a Speakers' Square to reaffirm the people's right to the freedom of speech,freedom of assembly and freedom of association.
The Speakers' Square was officially launched on the 4th May 2010 by the Chief Minister of Penang Mr. Lim Guan Eng.
At the launch, Mr. Lim Guan Eng said, " As Voltaire was reputed to have said on free speech, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”"
Video by Klik 4 Malaysia.com
YB Chow Kon Yeow, Executive Committee member of Penang State Government in charge of Local Government Traffic Management and Environment runs an open and consultative office. YB Chow has been very supportive of the civil society's request for a Speakers' Square.
Andre Loh representing the civil society declared," The Speakers' Square is a democratic space for citizens to express their views and grievances, hold peaceful demonstrations and vigils, release press statements, as well as conduct musical and artistic performances."
"The Speakers’s Square may result in unfair criticisms, including of the state government. I believe that we are all mature enough to listen to different views and allow people the freedom to express them freely. We hope this will give us the most important freedom of all, which is the freedom from fear." Chief Minister Mr. Lim Guan Eng.
Executive Committee members of the State Government at the launch.Lim Guan Eng,"The Speakers’ Corner serves as a catalyst to the growing spirit of democracy throughout Penang and the willingness of the state government to listen to the people to be a good government.
City Councillors of the MPPP.
MPPP granted the venue for the Speakers' Square.
The launch of the Speakers' Square was timed to commemorate the World Free Press Day on the 3rd of May. Deputy Chief Minister YB Mansur Othman ( in blue) is seen here putting a yellow ribbon on his shirt to mark the World Free Press Day. In the foreground is former president of the Bar Council Mr.Sulaiman Abdullah.
Part of the crowd at the historical launch of the Speakers' Square Penang.
The Speakers' Square was immediately put into use when the Chief Minister Mr. Lim Guan Eng held the first press conference on site.
Former president of the Malaysian Bar Council Haji Sulaiman Abdullah gave the first press interview at the Speakers'Square.
Media reports on the launch of Speakers'Sqaure Penang
Launching of the First Speakers’Corner in Malaysia.
Full Speech by The Chief Minister of Penang Mr. Lim Guan Eng.
Malaysiakini: Speak freely but Rules Apply
The Sun: Speakers' Square takes off
Aliran: Penang’s Speakers' Square: A step forward
The Star: Speak up, literally, at Penang’s Speaker’s Square!
The Edge: Penang makes history with Speakers' Square
Singapore's The Straits Times: Malaysia's Speakers' Corner
The Jakarta Globe: Malaysian State Unveils Its Own Speakers’Corner
Local Chinsese Press
The Original Proposal Submitted to The State Government
Letter for Submit Proposal Speaker Corner