Political Intimidation of the Malaysian Bar Has No Place under the Rule of Law — Malaysian Bar

Source: Malaysian Bar

Logo-majlis-peguam-malaysia-malaysian-bar-councilPress Release

Political Intimidation of the Malaysian Bar Has No Place under the Rule of Law

The Malaysian Bar is outraged by statements reportedly made on 23 and 24 October 2016 by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (“Minister”), that the Government is looking at blacklisting companies that support the pro-democracy movement BERSIH.[1]

The Minister is further reported to have said that “[w]e will also (blacklist) the law firms [who have contracts with government-linked companies, who support BERSIH].… I urge government-linked companies not to directly engage the services of these law firms”, and that the Government “would also look at lawyers who are involved in the movement”.[2]

The comments attributed to the Minister are shocking, and are a manifestation of a further decline in the level of understanding of the rule of law.  To advocate that law firms and Members of the Bar be punished for professing and practising the principle of the independence of the legal profession is to hold the legal profession to ransom and to blatantly disregard the rule of law.

The action proposed by the Minister is clearly unconstitutional, as it reeks of prejudice and would contravene the protection against discrimination set out in Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.  In addition, Article 5 protects the right to life, which includes the right to a livelihood.  Any attempt to victimise lawyers or law firms would impinge upon this fundamental right.  Read more

Ku Li tidak setuju senaraihitam syarikat sokong Bersih

Sumber: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran Umno Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah membantah cadangan agar syarikat yang didakwa menaja perhimpunan Bersih 5 disenaraihitam daripada kontrak kerajaan.

Ahli Parlimen Gua Musang itu berkata sumbangan boleh diberikan kepada mana-mana pihak asalkan tidak melanggar undang-undang.

“Saya tidak fikir ia langkah yang betul. Mana-mana pihak boleh menyumbang kepada mana-mana badan selagi ia tidak melanggar undang-undang atau perlembagaan,” katanya selepas berucap pada majlis pelancaran buku “The End of Umno?” di sini hari ini.

Read more

Kerajaan tiada hak senarai hitam syarikat taja Bersih, kata Maria Chin

Sumber: FMT News

Maria mempertahankan syarikat yang membiayai Bersih atas alasan kebebasan berpersatuan yang perlu dihormati semua pihak. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Maria mempertahankan syarikat yang membiayai Bersih atas alasan kebebasan berpersatuan yang perlu dihormati semua pihak. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Pengerusi Bersih 2.0, Maria Chin Abdullah, terkejut dengan ancaman kerajaan untuk menyenaraihitamkan penaja Bersih dan menuntut penjelasan atas dasar apa ia diambil..

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, yang menyelia Unit Perancang Ekonomi dan Unit Kerjasama Awam-Swasta hari ini berkata, syarikat yang ingin mendapatkan kontrak kerajaan akan diteliti sama ada mereka terlibat dalam membantu membiayai Bersih.

Maria berkata ia merupakan satu keputusan yang mengejutkan kerana Bersih, gabungan reformasi pelbagai kumpulan ditubuhkan untuk memerangi rasuah dan tadbir urus yang baik serta pilihan raya bebas dan adil.

“Apa isu beliau dengan Bersih? Adakah anti rasuah, atau pilihan raya yang bersih dan adil? Beliau menakutkan syarikat (dengan mengancam menyenaraihitamkan mereka),” katanya. Read more

Syarikat taja Bersih akan disenaraihitam, kata Rahman Dahlan

Sumber: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Kerajaan akan menyiasat dan mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap mana-mana syarikat yang didapati menaja perhimpunan haram Bersih, kata Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, hari ini.

Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri itu berkata demikian susulan artikel yang ditulis Awang Selamat bertajuk “Bersih Diperkasa?” di akhbar Umno, Mingguan Malaysia hari ini yang menyarankan syarikat menaja Bersih disenaraihitamkan kerana ia bertujuan untuk menggulingkan kerajaan.

“Saya ambil maklum dengan saranan Awang Selamat kerana syarikat yang menaja perhimpunan haram Bersih turut mendapat kontrak daripada kerajaan,” katanya menerusi kenyataan rasmi yang dikeluarkan hari ini. Read more

American Bar wants Putrajaya to reconsider changes to LPA

Source: FMT News

It wants the Malaysian government to meet the Malaysian Bar to get feedback and ensure the independence of the legal profession. Pic taken from FMT News.

It wants the Malaysian government to meet the Malaysian Bar to get feedback and ensure the independence of the legal profession. Pic taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The American Bar Association has written to the Malaysian prime minister to voice its opposition to a proposal to appoint two government nominees to the Bar Council.

Its president Linda Klein in a letter to Najib Razak last week, said there was no justification for mandating government appointments.

“It is unclear what legitimate purpose the government is seeking to fulfill, by mandating government appointment of bar leadership,” she said in the letter dated Sept 23.

The letter has since been published on the Malaysian Bar website.

She said such appointments would inherently undermine the independence of the Bar.

“The proposed law would therefore create an unjustified infringement upon the right of association of members of the legal profession as enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution, international law and required by the UN Basic Principles,” she said. Read more

Threat to Malaysian Bar’s independence — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The SunDaily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

THE former de facto law minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz (now tourism and culture minister), has unmasked the motive behind the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act (LPA): to clip its wings. “If you want to monitor, monitor on what?” he asked. He was amazed that this was taking place in present times.

The Bar, he said, has always been critical even during his term as law minister. “It has not weakened the government in any way. We are still here; we are stronger and to me, let them be,” he said.

This roundly repudiates Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman’s contention – that the proposed amendments to the LPA would only seek to address “bread and butter issues” like legal exams and the ability of all legal practitioners to speak and read English. Ignoring the fact that two government representatives would sit in the Bar Council; and that the whole election system would be revamped such that, according to the Bar Council president, Steven Thiru, it would impede the Bar’s proper functioning.

Read more

Let Bar remain independent, urges Gerakan’s Baljit

Source: FMT News

“Bar Council a barometer of feelings in the country and the government should tolerate constructive criticism from them.” — Baljit Singh

GEORGE TOWN: Defer tabling of the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 (LPA) in Parliament until further discussions are held, Gerakan National Legal and Human Rights Bureau Chief Baljit Singh said today.

He said Gerakan was against the proposed amendments for it would threaten the independence of the Bar as a whole.

The Bar is a professional body that governs all advocates and solicitors in Peninsular Malaysia. The amendment, moved by the Attorney-General (AG), will be tabled in Parliament next month.

Baljit felt the proposed amendments, especially the inclusion of two government appointees within the Bar Council, would affect the credibility of the Bar as a whole.

“Whether we like it or not, the Bar Council throughout the world is viewed as an effective check and balance of the government of the day.

“Yes, there are criticisms … they have been viewed as favouring the Opposition, but that is the case of the Bar around the world. We should take their opinions as is,” he said at a press conference at the Penang Club here today. Read more

The independence of the Malaysian Bar must not be curtailed — Steven Thiru

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY STEVEN THIRU

SEPTEMBER 7 — The Malaysian Bar refers to the comments made by the Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz (“Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz”) in The Star Online on September 3, 2016,   and Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs Chief Executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan in Malaysiakini on September 6, 2016, [ii] concerning the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”).

The views expressed by Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz — a senior member of the Cabinet and formerly the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs — and Wan Saiful Wan Jan are consistent with the stand taken by the Malaysian Bar in opposing the proposals. The Malaysian Bar appreciates their support.

There can be no doubt that, contrary to the stated purpose, the proposed amendments are explicitly designed to curtail the independence of the Malaysian Bar and interfere with the internal management of the Malaysian Bar. Read more

‘Is bid to rein in Malaysian Bar a retaliatory action by AG?’

Source: Malaysiakini

Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) today questioned if the planned amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 is attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s way of retaliating against the Malaysian Bar for criticising him.

The think tank’s chief executive director, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, said the proposed amendments, which would, among others, introduce government representatives in the Bar, did not appear to be a cabinet initiative.

He cited as proof Tourism Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s criticism against the amendments.

By speaking up, Nazri indicates that this was not a cabinet decision, which means it must have been the action of one agency only. Read more

Nazri against Legal Profession Act change, says shouldn’t muzzle Bar Council

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz is opposed to Putrajaya’s planned amendments to the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976, saying these would be seen as interference in the independent professional body representing lawyers in peninsular Malaysia.

The federal minister said the Bar Council should be allowed to conduct themselves as they saw fit, and that it was “alright” if they were viewed as critical of the government so long as they did not break the law.

“How they (Bar Council) want to run their affairs, we should leave it to them.

“Let it be … we cannot impose what we want,” he told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview. Read more