No fear. No favour. We are the Malaysian Bar.

The ear of a leader must ring with the voices of the people and the moment he stops listening to those voices, then he is no longer fit to be a leader.

Painting "Revolusi Sampai Mati" by Rahmat Haron

Painting "Revolusi Sampai Mati" by Rahmat Haron

When one offers himself to be a member of the Bar Council, one must remember that once elected, he is there to advance and protect the rights and interests of the members of the Malaysian Bar as well as that of the public. It is a position of trust and not one of status.

Council members have a duty and that duty does not differ from the duty of every lawyer in Malaysia i.e. to act without fear or favour.

Council members are not elected so that they can get titles or accolades or rub shoulders with judges or leaders of the Government.

They are elected because the members of the Malaysian Bar want them to be their voice and conscience.

Edmund’s concern about the effectiveness of the Bar Council is not something that should be taken lightly. Detractors may criticise him for the manner in which he aired the problems.

But that is not the issue. The real issues are the matters which he has validly raised such as the Judiciary, the VK Lingam video scandal, the administration of justice in the courts and the welfare of the lawyers, among others.

Edmund is not the only person who has heard grouses from the members of the Bar. Lawyers and public have now turned to alternative avenues or media to air their problems because they feel that the Bar Council are not able to effectively raise the matters with the powers that be and address their problems.

As a result, websites such as ‘LoyarBurok’ and e-groups such as ‘Lawyerstalk’ and ‘Transformed Bar’ have become outlets for lawyers and the public to voice their dissatisfaction on the Judiciary or the Government when such issues should have been taken up by the Bar Council.

On Edmund’s decision to not offer himself for the next election, I am of the view that there should be a limit to the number of terms one should serve as Council members. This is not something new.

In fact, a motion to the effect of limiting the tenure of Council members was moved in the Bar’s 2005 AGM but was defeated.

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The writer was supposed to be a reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Hang Jebat, Bruce Lee and Nocurnto Beasto (a black metal dude from Bergen, Norway) rolled into one. Due to the highly complicated "1Reincarnation process" (which was impossible anyway in the "1st" place because of discriminatory scientific-politico policies) and Lord Bobo's intervention, he ended up as Amer Hamzah Arshad in the present life. And for the sins of others he has been condemned to practise law in Malaysia where nothing makes sense. Amer believes that Slayer's "Reign in Blood" is still one of the best metal albums ever made.

Posted on 14 August 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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8 Responses to No fear. No favour. We are the Malaysian Bar.

  1. Judge Dredd

    "as well as that of the", you lawyer got me confused.

    but

    "he is there to advance and protect the rights and interests of the public and the members of the Malaysian Bar"

    sound better. simple. I don't know whether it will carry any legal implication or not.

    ciou.

  2. Qama Gill

    Judge Dredd,

    he is there to advance and protect the rights and interests of the members of the Malaysian Bar as well as that of the public.

    kindly tell yourself the meaning of as well in above sentence. then, question from you whether the Bar is more important than public will be answered.

  3. Judge Dredd

    Noted on that. yes, we are human. there's good cop, there's bad cop.

    Lot of people TRYING/ACTING to be lawyer nowaday. I see them at court, be it jalan duta or POJ.

    Outside of the court, very serious looking, tend to flock together in same feathers, carry that weird doctor's bag.

    Inside the court you can see their true color, some came unprepared, some fighting for one kaya anak guam, some cannot speak proper engrish or even malay, some show disrespect of others in the name of law.

    and more lawyer act like politician nowaday. susah la ini macam.

    and yes. There's one or two percent of lawyer who sincerely love their work, the endangered species.

    "When one offers himself to be a member of the Bar Council, one must remember that once elected, he is there to advance and protect the rights and interests of the members of the Malaysian Bar as well as that of the public. It is a position of trust and not one of status."

    So the Bar is more important than the public?

  4. LN

    Dear Judge Dredd,

    Some people look at lawyers with disgust because the popular belief is that they are cut-throats, only interested in money.

    Some people are suspicious of lawyers also because they act and behave like the "elite". A bit like the small group of artists and actors we have in theatre. Show off. Action. You get the drift. In Malaysia, the acting world is small. But how come the actors behave like they're Hollywood megastars? The lawyers in Malaysia don't work on international cases plus our English is considered substandard so even if we want to practise law in London, we would find it hard to compete with the British. So why a website that seems to idolise lawyers with lawyers writing as if indulging in an inflated sense of worth?

    This is the answer: NOBODY IS PERFECT.

    But the pride I see reflects a passion to strive for more, for something better. The existence of a lawyer's website also reflects a restlessness which means they know more needs to be done but suggests that there are barriers to what more can be done, especially in a country like Malaysia. If everybody is happy and things are fine, why would there be a need to write/demand/question?

    You may not respect lawyers, but if something happens to you, if you got caught/arrested, if your relative gets sexually assaulted, if your landlord cheats you, etc…you would rather have a lawyer (good one, of course) than not have a lawyer.

    The legal profession is also a profession. This means people who practise law deserve to get paid. The fees are fixed. There's a standard (unless you kena tipu by a quack lawyer which I'm also sure there are plenty of in this country). Lawyers also need to cari makan.

    Lastly, there are good lawyers and bad lawyers. Just like there are good doctors and bad doctors. Don't la masukkan semua dalam bakul yang sama.

  5. Judge Dredd

    I am of the view that this is a very poyo punya artikel.

    masuk bakul angkat sendiri. cit!

    Lawyer, the defender of the universe. Keeper of the galaxy. ruler of the good, servent of the kindness, mother of the theresa …

    Lawyernism obsessive article.

    "Council members have a duty and that duty does not differ from the duty of every lawyer in Malaysia i.e. to act without fear or favour" <—

    To act when client pay.

  6. Pingback: Bar Council uses its fangs judiciously | LoyarBurok

  7. 4RAKYAT

    power to the people

    BERSIH2010.

    4RAKYAT

  8. hak

    Keep up the struggle and make the difference, ye lawyers for change