A Bar Council member’s riposte to LoyarBorak #2

Our LoyarBorak #2, Part 1 and Part 2, prompted a fierce exchange of views, both in the comments on the article and on Twitter. The perceived negativity of all the comments led to this spirited defence of the Bar Council by one of its members through a series of Tweets, posing pertinent questions to the naysayers. Those tweets are now repackaged, and presented as a riposte to the LoyarBurokkers! Let us have your reactions as well.


Brendan Navin Siva

Brendan Navin Siva

I have no problem accepting criticism that we do not do enough and can do much more.

But I have a problem with those who say we do nothing and are useless. That would be a gross misstatement of the facts.

Who helped members of the Bar avert the proposed BNM motor vehicle insurance scheme?

Who ensures a minimum level of competence for all law students entering the profession from many different avenues?

Who has to pick up the slack when UUM and MMU do not have a good enough law degree?

Who is pushing for the common bar course amidst opposition from some local universities?

Who is discussing and debating the pros and cons of conditional fees and limited liability partnerships?

Who proposed and drafted the compendium of awards for personal injury to streamline court awards?

Press release machine? Who else is to bring attention to those issues we issue press releases about?

Who holds watching briefs at all major cases?

Who runs to Parliament house to brief members of Parliament about the impact of proposed Bills?

Who stands up for the Orang Asal/ Orang Asli?

The last president was much better? Who was in BC during her time – a whole different set of people?

Rubbing shoulders with CJ? We go there and fight for lawyers as hard as we can and you say we are benefiting ourselves?

You know we are dealing with people hell bent on disposing cases fast and you think it is our fault if we fail to stop every one of them?

You think the idea for the admiralty court and IP court fell from the sky?

You think suddenly a practice direction on mediation appeared out of nowhere?

You think because we cannot solve the trend of murdered lawyers in Penang that we are not trying?

Who do you think offered every assistance to the 5 legal aid lawyers? Their next step is to sue personally and we are supporting.

When we ask for feedback on the proposed conditional fees, LLP Bill, awards compendium, rules changes: how many members respond?

Problem – Too many good lawyers walk away from serving the Bar.

Problem – We can do much more if more of us get involved and serve the Bar rather than imputing on us all kinds of untruths.

Problem – You ridicule and call us politicians when we try our best to serve the Bar.

Solution – Please help us do more. You have the expertise and knowledge. Why am i learning your area of law to help you? Because I want to.

Solution – Help us get members interested in serving rather than taking them further away from us by saying we don’t care.

Problem – Some say we don’t do enough for human rights and some say we don’t do enough for lawyers. We are trying on all fronts.

Every year I am elected I try to do better. I try to do more.

I remember a time when all we did was fight with each other. Dark side, Good side. My side, Your side. Real ballot, Forged Ballot.

And you think we do less now than we did then?

Brendan Navin Siva is serving his 2nd term as the Kuala Lumpur Bar’s Representative to the Bar Council. He’s very chuffed that Australia are beating the Pommies at the Ashes, and when not attending to work or to Bar Council or KL Bar affairs can be found in Chawan, Nirvana, Baskin Robbins Telawi or the Appam shop in Lucky Garden. He tweets at @brendansiva


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Brendan Navin Siva is presently the Chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Bar and a member of the Bar Council. He tweets at @brendansiva.

Posted on 29 November 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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9 Responses to A Bar Council member’s riposte to LoyarBorak #2

  1. Jen

    Brendan,

    Sadly, if you can put all the BC has done in a few tweets and which can be packaged into this Article, the BC is probably not doing enough.

    While many of us will applaud what the BC has done so far, most criticisms are aimed at the fact that the BC should be a force to be reckoned with. Not just a “we do stuff.” We want to proudly say the BC is always the one who does MORE than enough.

    Those who think they are good enough are the ones who volunteer. If you put yourself up to be the person for the job, you jolly well do it right. Does it make a difference whether you are paid for it? Does it mean we ought not to criticize those who volunteer? I think in most of our minds, it goes along the rationale that you MUST think you’re up for the job, hence you volunteered- you’re not doing it for the money obviously. So if you think you’re of that “qualification” to serve, then please, do it top notch. Don’t moan about it being voluntary.

  2. sherrie

    Definitely a timely response in support for what BC, the committees and the members who have been doing for the Bar throughout the years. It is a voluntary work. If members feel they need a change within the Bar, come and contribute rather than just to offer criticism. Its easier said than done!

  3. vasantha

    Congratulations for the good work you say you are doing! Sir,I do not want to say that you protest too much.Nevertheless the BC does not seem to be in the forefront of things.Racism is rampant today. Sir,it hurts.I am very sure the rich,famous and titled in Malaysia are quite immune to it. Their world looks at in bewilderment at the issues raised by the layman.I am not talking Hindraf issues here.

    A third teacher had uttered racist comments in an examination hall. To me, it is a serious issue. BC as the guardian of the legal fraternity should have plenty to say about it. The rights of the minorities as enshrined in our constitution must be upheld. In recent times, we see Indians being manipulated by all kinds of factions for their own personal agenda. Every other day, I see Indians demonstrating, example in front of the PK headquarters. One would think that Anwar Ibrahim is the person in charge of Indian affairs! My point is it is the responsibility of the educated to fight for issues that touches the life of the layman. All kinds of injustice affecting all races of people must be addressed. The Bar Council has greater responsibility in seeing that justice is done in every issue. Let Us Hear You Loud And Clear.Let the legal lions roar.

  4. What? You mean all of you people caved just because of this!? ;)

    Brendan is a great guy, and BC does do a lot of good things, admittedly, but come on lah – where’s the angst gone? Where’s the righteous anger seen in the earlier LoyarBorak comments!

    Make no mistake – the criticisms are still valid, and the perception of the BC doing sweet FA is still a very tangible perception which the BC must address quickly.

    At the end of the day, we elected you not just to “debate the pros and cons”, but to take the necessary action expeditiously after the debate.

    Keep us informed. Show us you are doing what you say you are doing (to the extent permitted by law and the exigencies of particular situations). You may think you are doing a lot, but you must let us – the lawyers in the trenches – know this too.

    And the reason why you have to do all this – you chose it. You stood for election. You agreed to represent us. Nobody asked you to stand.

    So deal with the criticism and Stop moaning ;)

    (And kruel 74: Brendan is in BC as a representative of the KL Bar, elected at the KL Bar AGM. If he stands for BC again, I too will vote for him. He is a good person, and as can be seen, he is passionate about the Bar. I just can’t resist continuing to whack him, so that he does not have too easy a ride! ;)

  5. Benjamin Sathyanandam

    Ha! Ha! BC should attach this in its next issue of circulars

  6. Brendan,

    Thanks for responding, and allowing LoyarBurok to publish your tweets here. There are definitely many, many issues which the BC is involved in, and far too many layers within those issues, which makes it impossible to address as part of an article, or LoyarBorak session.

    Thanks for giving an insight into the very many things which you, and many hardworking people like you, have done and continue to do. Please continue your good work, and hopefully you can take away some constructive criticism from the views on LoyarBorak.

  7. Seira Sacha

    Dear Brendan

    Many thanx for this response. I hope it gives perspective to those who just know how to whack BC but not doing anything about it, ie. join a committee, vote at election, attend AGM/EGM etc. At the end of the day, its all voluntary work and BC members and those who sit in the sub-committee dont get paid for their effort and time. What is even sadder are those that sits in BC and do nothing. And they think its their god-given right to be there. Nevermind. You and I, and the rest of our army, we must not give up and continue to campaign for a better Bar!

  8. mhini

    Wow. If only the majority (not even asking for all) of elected BC are as passionate as this. Riposte? Funny. KPI & SRO ignored again? Hahaha. Apt.

  9. I love this guy. Did he run for a Bar Council post (not through KL?). Would have vote him. Ballot sent n not sure I tick him if he’s there