Malaysian Bar chief ‘whoring’ legal profession with Anwar verdict criticism, says Malay group

Chris Leong

(Malay Mail Online) – A Malay consumer group accused today Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong of being a sellout to the legal profession with his recent criticism against the Federal Court’s judgment on Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Voicing their upset with Leong, the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) said the lawyer’s statement suggested the country’s judicial system was corruptible and demanded a retraction within 14 days.

“This double standard, setting aside the question of integrity and legal professional philosophy as an officer of justice and truth has him whoring himself as an agent or mastermind in disputing the court’s decision,” PPIM adviser Tengku Azwil Tengku Abdul Razak said, referring to Leong.

When asked if court decisions were above criticism, he skirted the issue, saying Leong’s statement gave the impression the legal system is unfair.

“By calling it persecution, he is insinuating that the legal system is unfair,” Tengku Azwil told Malay Mail Online over the phone.

He also claimed that Leong had abused his position as the head of the country’s largest body of lawyers to issue the statement, but was less forthcoming when asked his opinion on whom the Bar Council chief was purported to be representing.

Tengku Azwil said he was certain Leong was acting for someone even though he was uncertain of the person’s identity.

He said PPIM would file a police report against Leong if the latter had still not retracted his statement after 14 days, echoing another separate group consisting of 100 lawyer.

The lawyers had said it would push for Leong’s resignation as Malaysian Bar president if their demand was not met within the time frame.

Leong has came under fire from several quarters for highlighting “glaring anomalies” in the prosecution against Anwar on February 10 that fuelled the perception that the PKR politician had been “persecuted, and not prosecuted”.

The public prosecutor under fiat on Anwar’s case, Tan Sri Muhd Shafee Abdullah saying Leong should be cited for contempt.

But fellow lawyers and Bar Council members such as Andrew Khoo defended Leong, pointing out that he was merely criticising Anwar’s prosecution and not the judiciary as a whole.