Harrumph. Tell us something new, Ed.

LoyarBurokker Shanmuga K. critiques Edmund’s “Biting Interview” as critiquing what lawyers and the rakyat already know. Old news, really.

And so my friend Edmund Bon has stirred up a hornet’s nest yet again. That guy really doesn’t give a damn – he just speaks his mind, and to hell with it!

KPI & Justice @ www.thenutgraph.com/making-it-right-in-the-courts/


And now, apparently, he’s getting some flak for voicing out what 99% of lawyers think already – the Bar Council (many of whose members are my friends) are just too damn scared to do anything about the state of the administration of justice.

Almost every single lawyer I know complains about the things he has raised.

Of course, Tun Zaki does not know this – the lawyers he’s spoken to mostly love his reforms. But then again, he’s the bloody CJ! Of course, when we speak to him we will only tell him nice things.

It’s human nature not to annoy the big boss with disconcerting information about his pet project.

And since I began practice, most lawyers have felt disconnected from members of the Bar Council. Each year, about a quarter of lawyers (probably less) vote in elections. Even less turn up for State Bar AGMs.


The answer is quite simply that the Bar Council is totally irrelevant to their day-to-day practice. There is clearly a disconnect between the Bar Council as an entity and the lawyers who make up the Malaysian Bar.

Everyone (in the corridors of power) are probably harrumphing over the impropriety of airing one’s dirty linen in public. How dare Bon do this in a press interview?

(Here, I share their sentiment – surely he should have at least written an open letter on this, Malaysia’s leading blawg! But I understand that FMT conducted a long interview with him and this was only one part of that interview about his future plans.)

Then again, I know that Edmund has been complaining about these things for a long time. He has privately voiced his frustrations many times, and raised these issues at Bar Council meetings. To no avail.

He obviously had his reasons.

We all realise that the Bar Council exists for a limited purpose, and cannot solve all the problems lawyers face.

But all those people must also realise that if they stand for election to the Bar Council, it means they are saying they are willing to do the dirty job that other lawyers do not want to do. It means they agree to stand up to the powers that be, and that they will fight the lawyer’s corner sometimes when they are busy protecting the public interest.

If they don’t do that, and fail to show their electorate that they are doing that, they will face the same old lethargy that they face every year and the same complaints – now on Facebook, Twitter and in the blogosphere – that they are beginning to see now.

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Posts by Shanmuga K

Shanmuga K sometimes sees a purple banana emerging in his sub-conscious. An article seems to then be magically written. He is @shanmuga_k on Twitter. When he does not see those purple bananas, he practices as a lawyer at www.kanesalingam.com

Posted on 13 August 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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9 Responses to Harrumph. Tell us something new, Ed.

  1. Qama Gill


    do reread my post before you commented me like that.

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  5. Michael

    Edmund Bon for president!

  6. hak

    The hero journey is never stupid Qama Gill. "Just a citizen' is a lame excuse fir not having the brains and the guts to take a position on Human Rights.

  7. michaela

    The first few agent of change will always be criticized because it's not the popular thing to do. In time, when the rest will eventually see the point. Hopefully sooner than later.

  8. Qama Gill

    how to pen this thought and not to step on others foot? erm..i'll begin this by quoting that Edmund is having an optimistic view in life. he tried (since he now will quit) to turn BC from inside out. repairing the damages from within. i bet before he was vote as BC honourable member, he already foresee the dispute already. why he still move on to shoulder the responsibilty? because if nobody care, then BC will continue to err in it's move. still, years after years voicing his discontent towards BC's err (or errs) meetings, it still turn from bad to worse. BC had been politicized by those who betray their pledges on justice. people no longer have faith in court, they strongly believe it is not sacred place for justice anymore. it is a mere tools for people with wealth and power. the line between executive and legislative power had become thinner or shall i say already lapse between one another. you can no longer believe in court already.

    then again, people like Edmund, is simply sacrificing himself for the sake of many. i can pen him as being stupid, yet again all heroes are stupid. while all individuals are minding their own business, this ignorant man stands firm on his view, try to budge BC to be better. a call for reform. he failed and as other failure will do, they'll quit. why? BC is not turning to be better, at least towards it's own people if not for the whole public. come on..Edmund is not a saint, he's more human like me and you. he tried, shed his sweats and tears to bring reformation to BC so public will once again have confidence in jurisdiction system. he bet all his chips but what he got in return? more and more disappointment.

    my dad quoted me the story of a boxer. champion is not determined by how fast a boxer moves or how strong his punches is but how many times he stand up after receiving a blow. that's a true champion. for Edmund, i believe you will still stand tall after all these tussles. God will pay for your deeds in the end.

    you are the good guy and good guy always win in the end. chin up, bro!

    i'm just a mere citizen, not even a lawyer by profession. but even i can smell how rotten BC currently is. in certain positive perspective, BC had done well. still, more disputes arised and questioned the reliability of BC in upholding justice. what i can do from my end is to pray people like Edmund and the rest of good conscience law practitioner will keep on swinging. best of luck, guys!

  9. Chris Tan

    BC could be the start of the destruction for this profession. We shall see.