Bar chief was wrong and must apologise

Chris Leong

Lawyers’ group says Christopher Leong misled public about past prosecutions of sodomy

Faidhur Rahman Abdul Hadi, Free Malaysia Today

We, the G100 who have issued the Press Statement dated 21 February 2015 against Mr Christopher Leong’s Press Release of 11 February 2015, refer to the recent Press Release dated 26 February 2015 issued by the president of the Malaysian Bar, which was entitled the ‘Bar is Pro-Rule of Law and Justice, Not Pro-Opposition or Government’.

Although a large part of the recent Press Release is on Tan Sri Shafee’s interviews and roadshows on the Federal Court judgment in Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (DSAI) case, some parts of the press release also made indirect reference to G100′s Press Statement, which warrants clarification.

Before we venture into the needful clarification, we wish to place on record that certain questions raised by Mr Christopher Leong with regard to the continuing conduct of the public prosecutor in the DSAI trial, outside of the courts, are supported by G100 and we shall await the authorities to decide the relevant course of action, as they deem fit.

However, with regard to the G100 concerns, it is noted that in Mr Christopher Leong’s first Press Release dated 11 February 2015, there were allegations that the law used to charge and convict DSAI, twice, was “rarely used”.

It is also noted however, that in his second Press Release dated 26 February 2015 he now acknowledges the statistics from the Attorney General’s Chambers that charges under sections 377A and 377B are not at all that rarely used, which showed hundreds of cases for sections 377A and 377B and even demanded further statistics for the period prior to 2009.

Mr Christopher Leong was wrong in the first place to mislead the public that it was rarely used and therefore should gentlemanly admit to and apologise for the said error.

In relation to the law, Mr Christopher Leong previously questioned why Saiful was not charged for abetment under section 109 read together with sections 377A and 377B of the Penal Code. This according to Mr Christopher Leong creates a perception of there being persecution against DSAI. We have highlighted that under sections 377A and 377B, the only offence is the act committed by the penetrator. Thus only DSAI could have been charged for that offence and it is therefore preposterous to even suggest that Saiful should be charged for abetting a crime which he could not have committed as not being the penetrator. This should have been clarified by Mr Christopher Leong.

Nevertheless, in the new statement, Mr Christopher Leong is now attempting to wriggle his way out by arguing instead that Saiful should be charged under section 377D of the Penal Code which is obviously a clear departure from Mr Christopher Leong’s earlier stand.

It is disheartening to see that Mr Christopher Leong is now arguing on different grounds and still not admitting he has made an obvious mistake in scandalising the courts. His first statement of the 11th was clearly made in reference to the judiciary. Many who had read it also clearly believed he had referred to the judiciary. For example among the public comments following his statements at The Malaysian Insider are as follows (see