M’sian Bar: A tool of the opposition or a tool for justice?


(FMT) – Politicians demand setting up of an alternative body, lawyers will resist.

Lawmakers yesterday called on the government to re-table the Malaysian Academy of Law Bill 2002 to facilitate the creation of an alternative legal body to represent the lawyers in the country.

Tanjung Karang Member of Parliament Noh Omar claimed that the move was necessary because the Malaysian Bar had allegedly become the opposition’s mouthpiece.

“The Bar (is) no longer free. Instead, they have become a political tool of the Opposition,” the Star Online reports Noh as saying.

“They have made several statements which they should not have.”

He was referring to a press statement made on February 11 in which the President of the Malaysian Bar, Christopher Leong had, among other things, questioned why Anwar Ibrahim had been charged for a “victimless” offence and suggested that “glaring anomalies” in the case had fueled a perception that Anwar had been “persecuted rather than prosecuted”.

Noh also claimed that by “supporting” the Catholic Church, the Bar Council had by demonstrated during the “Allah” case that it had no respect for the sensitivities of its Muslim members.

“I want to suggest that the government table this bill again so that it will be more fair (sic) and we can better monitor the welfare of those in the legal profession,” Noh said. “This time let’s not be afraid and bow to them (Bar Council) anymore. If the Bar cannot honour their own words then it is a body that we do not need to respect anymore.”

Noh’s statements come at a time when the Malaysian Bar is expecting to debate a motion tabled by two members calling upon Bar President Christopher Leong to retract his aforementioned press statement.

In the build up to its upcoming Annual General Meeting, certain members of the Bar were reported to have claimed that the Bar did not represent their views and called for the setting up of an alternative body which would better represent their views.

Senior lawyers, however, appear wholly resistant to the idea, claiming that such a move was an attempt to usurp the functions and powers of the Bar given under the Legal Profession Act 1976, especially its principle function of upholding the cause of justice without regard to the Bar’s own interests or that of its members and uninfluenced by fear or favour.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/03/11/msian-bar-a-tool-of-the-opposition-or-a-tool-for-justice/