RMAF v N. Surendran & >12,500 Malaysian Bar members

By Amer Hamzah Arshad

This is a clarion call for members of the Bar and fellow Malaysians to unite and stand up together. Together we must send a strong message to the powers that be that we do not accept this kind of behaviour.

Yet another lawyer intimidated for doing his job. When will this end? Never …unless the people stand up, unless we see naked abuse of power for what it is and call it as it is, and when we start demanding only the highest of standards from those who wield power and authority.

Two days ago, my friend and Lawyers For Liberty’s N. Surendran was issued with aRMAF letter (read: threat) dated 28 October 2010. The RMAF “advised” Surendran to advise his client to do something which Surendran would never do – surrender to the RMAF.

Surendran’s client is a former RMAF sergeant currently facing a criminal charge for allegedly being involved in the jet-engines fiasco. In the course of carrying his duties as a lawyer, Surendran raised numerous issues regarding the fiasco and also in relation to the manner in which the RMAF had treated his client while under investigations.

For acting without fear and favour, Surendran has been issued with what appears to be a threat.

On one previous occasion there were 100 or more lawyers offering to be part of LoyarBurok’s Team 100 to protect the Bar Council’s MyConsti campaigners in face of a police report lodged by a misguided group. I hope the same individuals and others who are reading this will rise and put a stop to RMAF’s unacceptable act of intimidation against Surendran and his client.

Surendran is not just a lawyer but a dear friend of mine and I would like to make it known to all and sundry that any act of harassment or intimidation of him, is an act of harassment and intimidation of me and members of the Malaysian Bar.

Surendran was merely doing what any right-minded lawyer would do. It is quite obvious that there are some people in the upper echelons who are unhappy with the manner he is carrying out his duties. RMAF’s conduct is an attack on the fundamental right of a person to be represented by a lawyer.