(The Star) - The debate for an alternative Bar is set to reignite a group of lawyers who have been pressing for their own organisation.
Led by advocate and solicitor Nordin Yusoff, who is a member of the Selangor Bar, he claims to have received enough support to form an alternative to the current Bar Council regulatory body.
“We have received the green light from the Government,” he said.
“We have spoken to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and are formalising the registration with the Registrar of Societies,” he added.
In a phone call to The Star, Nordin said it was a plan that was five years in the making and should materialise by early next month.
While refusing to disclose the name of the organisation or details of the pro tem committee, he said many of his friends in the legal fraternity were “raring to join”.
“We will open up our membership to ministers, judges, academicians and other lawyers who are not currently practising,” he added.
His reason for setting up the alternative: “The Bar Council and the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board are just bullying us and doing whatever they like.
“I am sick and tired of their antics and I am going to expose their dirty tricks soon.”
The issue of an alternative Bar arose in May after the Malaysian Bar passed a resolution condemning excessive force by the police in the Bersih 3.0 gathering a month earlier.
Nazri brought up the matter, claiming that the Bar Council’s views were not shared with most of its 14,500 members despite the overwhelming majority in passing the resolution.
However, the idea was shot down by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In response, the Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee said any member could form an association as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.
“However, for licensing, regulation and disciplinary processes, in the interest of the public and the profession, it must lie with one body – the Bar Council. This is a rationale recognised by the Government.
“The Bar will not stop this member of the Bar from registering an association so long as it is consistent with the Legal Profession Act and does not confuse members of the public of its purpose,” he said.
Lim also said Nordin was free to raise his complaints at general meetings, run for leadership or even resort to court actions.
“He should have confidence in our general membership of 14,500 and do the right thing in elections or general meetings.”