Malaysian Bar ex-presidents warn of government interference in proposed law changes

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Former Malaysian Bar president, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, noted the importance of an independent Bar for the independent administration of justice. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Former Malaysian Bar president, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, noted the importance of an independent Bar for the independent administration of justice. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 ― Putrajaya is attempting to meddle with the Malaysian Bar and compromise its independence through proposed changes to the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976, the body’s former presidents warned.

Former Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee urged the federal government to halt the “madness” of its plans to amend the law which would include introducing government appointees into the decision-making council of the professional body for all lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia.

“I am flabbergasted that the government wants to interfere with the Bar to the extent of having a direct say in its affairs. The only natural inference is that this is a reprisal against the Bar’s principled stand against the wrongs of the government.

“I urge the good people in Cabinet and government to stop this madness,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday.

Another former Malaysian Bar president, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, noted the importance of an independent Bar for the independent administration of justice.

“I see this as a direct interference into the affairs of the Bar and Bar Council. Clearly the government sees an independent Bar as a threat to their wielding of untrammelled power against the citizens.

“The Malaysian Bar is well respected internationally for its courage and defence of the rule of law, no matter the consequences to itself,” she told Malay Mail Online. Read more