Edmund Bon

LoyarBurokker and Constitutional Law Committee Chairperson, Edmund Bon speaks to Free Malaysia Today about his frustration with the Council’s failure to effectively voice out against injustices in the nation and take care of its fellow lawyers. Bon also reveals that this will be his last term in the Bar Council.

Bar Council Becoming Toothless

Wed, 11 Aug 2010
By Teoh El Sen
Edmund BonFMT INTERVIEW KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council has been described as “toothless” for its failure to effectively voice out against injustice and to take care of the welfare of lawyers.

Popular human rights lawyer Edmund Bon told FMT in a recent interview that his frustration with the council has partly prompted him not to stand again for another term as a council member.

“This will be my last term in the Bar Council… unless something extraordinary happens, I will not stand in the next election,” said Bon, who has been in the Bar Council for five years and has been chairman of three committees.

While not saying it was a protest move, Bon said the Bar Council has not been performing as well as it ought to, and has seemingly lost its direction.

“We seem afraid of offending the authorities… the momentum we have gained over the past few terms has been lost… members feel lethargic, and there is a feeling that little can be done through the Bar Council,” Bon said.

He also said his decision (not to stand for election) was to promote the idea that council members should not stay around for too long. In fact, he proposed the idea to the council at its annual general meeting in 2005 but it was not adopted.

“People can say it’s a protest move. It’s up to them what they might think. I have also failed on my part to move the Bar Council (to act on issues). But I am sure more young lawyers will take my place, lead and do better,” Bon said.

However, he admitted that the decision was partly personal as he felt that he needed some time to re-evaluate his priorities and possibly make a comeback in a couple of years.

Bon said he felt that if he stayed on under the present circumstances, he might turn even more cynical and become a lethargic member of the Bar Council.

Below are excepts of the interview:

FMT: Why are you quitting the Bar Council?

Edmund Bon: I’m not quitting the council as I will see out my term and fulfill the pledge to complete the ‘MyConstitution Campaign’ (bringing the Federal Constitution to the people). But I would like to add that while I am trying to promote the idea of taking a break after a length of time, it is quite frustrating at the moment because I feel that we could do much more as leaders of the Bar Council.

We have not been performing as well as we ought to. I am also at fault as it is our collective responsibility. It’s just that each of us have our own portfolios and if we work on our portfolios full-time, it’s virtually impossible to have the energy to work on other areas without also stepping on the toes of other members.

What do you mean? Are there problems in the Bar Council?

We are not sufficiently listening to the members of the Malaysian Bar. We have lost touch and not responded fast enough to the needs of our members because we have become too comfortable being members of the Bar Council. Times have changed. The way information is being disseminated requires us to be on our toes. We are not communicating enough, we seem to fear taking difficult positions and standing our ground against the powers that be; and seem afraid of offending the authorities. Save for the well-entrenched views we have held in the past, we only react and our members are losing out. We are without a blueprint or a game-plan and that’s why we are clueless about our direction. The momentum we have gained over the past few terms has been lost, and it will take some time to recover it. Members feel lethargic, and there is a feeling that little can be done through the Bar Council.

What ‘momentum’ are you talking about?

We haven’t taken advantage of the influence we had acquired during our Walk for Justice (where on Sept 26, 2007, about 2,000 lawyers protested the VK Lingam video tape scandal, resulting in the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the scandal).

That’s the problem when a precedent is set (establishing a high bar) – it’s very difficult to emulate. I think that we (the Bar Council) are becoming toothless and lack direction in what we want to do. It is scary. I know I will be very unpopular with my colleagues for saying this, but I have tried many times before to work within the system. I hope this is not taken in a bad way, but we all need to wake up from our relative slumber. I admit I have not been as effective in pursuing the ideas I spoke about and I will step aside.

What other issues do you think the Bar Council has not addressed?

We have shied away from forcing Chief Justice Zaki Azmi and the judiciary to take a position on the judges named in the Lingam report, who have purportedly conducted Edmund Bon @ Facebookthemselves unprofessionally and who are still on the Bench. We are tip-toeing around the issue.

We have not dealt with the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) issue sufficiently, allowing the judiciary to steamroll their ideas past us – yes, some concessions were made to fine-tune the KPI system but on the whole lawyers are complaining about judicial conduct in dealing with cases – justice is not being served, it’s all a numbers game.

The independence of the judiciary since the Chief Justice was appointed has not been dealt with at all; questions on the non-rotation of judges who sit on politically-charged cases are unexplained. There appears to be, unlike the 1988 crisis which was overt, a covert emasculation of the judicial arm. It’s even more dangerous because it’s happening without public attention or outcry.We have failed to monitor the work of the Judicial Appointments Commission and push for greater inclusion of civil society including the Bar into that mechanism.

We have failed to stop the recent amendments to increase the jurisdiction of the sessions and magistrate’s courts. While we have got on well with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, ministers and judges, it’s a real wonder that we then get ‘stabbed’ and short-changed on the amendments.We were never asked for our views. Something somewhere is wrong. We are consulted more but we get pushed around more too.

Internally, we are not responding adequately to members’ bread-and-butter concerns – young lawyers are suffering with the new court system. Many don’t wish to voice out for fear that their cases will be affected; and they also see the Bar Council as unable to improve conditions. So, these lawyers just put their heads down and hope for the best. Is this the Bar we want?

We have moved away from the ‘activist’ Bar model we used to be two terms ago to a more ‘centrist’ one where the philosophy is one of consensus-building and compromising rather than of confrontation. That’s welcomed; only problem is that while this approach looks nice on paper, it’s not working or helping the members of the Bar. More worryingly, there are lawyers who have become disillusioned and disinterested in the affairs of the Bar Council because they think that as council members we only ‘rub shoulders’ with judges. It’s far from the case as there is some real work being put in on most occasions. We are fast losing energy and becoming devoid of new ideas of doing things. These issues are affecting public perception of the institutions of the Bar and the judiciary.

Are you hoping to send some kind of message from this decision (not to stand for election)?

We need to wake up, myself included. It’s a period of systemic introspection each of us needs to go through as leaders. It’s very easy not to say anything, and be part of the ‘crowd’, because Bar Council members have the ‘privilege’ to rub shoulders with influential people. Some do, some don’t. But it’s not easy to speak out. It’s easy to be a ‘career’ council member though. Outside the council, members feel they are not being heard, and sometimes we must throw our hands up and admit that we are ineffective. We should be doing our walkabouts in every state like we used to. We should amend the Legal Profession Act to make the president and vice-president posts salaried, and the bearers will have to take time off their practice. If the Bar doesn’t get in tune quickly enough, I believe members will rebel and revolt. But that’s not to say we have not come very far and grown all these years. A great deal has changed and improved… but we must not stop there.

Is this decision also personal in nature?

Yes. And I blame only myself for not having the energy and desire to continue debating with my fellow council members to try change views when it looks like it can’t be done. There are of course other council members who feel the same but will voice their dissension in private. I have raised many of these issues in the council but it is up to the leaders what course of action to take. There is only so much one can do and some of us do not have sufficient powers to change things. Each of us has our own portfolios and all of us have to pull our weight together… So, if I were to continue (working in the council) I would probably get even more disillusioned. It’s time to re-evaluate my priorities.

I feel that perhaps I need to be working from the outside. It’s been a great experience doing the best I could these past years with the young lawyers, and human rights and constitutional law committees, and I don’t regret it one bit. The many friends I have made along the way have now grown into a strong community of activists. .

Are you sure about this? And will this be permanent or will you return to the Bar Council later?

Quite definitely; unless something extraordinary happens, this is my last term in the Bar Council. I want younger members to continue what is being done but with more push and energy, maybe someone else can take up the fight. As for returning (to the council), I may make a comeback after two or three years outside of the Bar, depending on the situation.

Can you tell us about how you joined the Bar Council?

This is a common misconception; you cannot ‘join’ the Bar Council. The Malaysian Bar is made out of 13,000 lawyers. Under the Legal Profession Act 1976, it is run by the Bar Council, which only comprised 36 members elected by the State Bars and the Malaysian Bar. I was elected by postal ballot, where the top 12 will be council members. There are also 11 State Bars that hold their own elections and each will elect two representatives to the Bar Council, that is, 22 members.

Now we have 34, and the last two are ex-officio members, meaning the immediate past president and vice-president who sit automatically in the next council. We vote in November every year but we start our term only in March. Any member of the 13,000-strong Malaysian Bar can offer themselves to stand for council election. I stood for election in 2005. Surprisingly, I got into the council. (Bon is still the youngest council member.)

Do you have anything to add with regard to your move to ‘quit’ the Bar Council?

Maybe it is naïve idealism. I have nothing personal against the council and I hope what I’m saying would be viewed constructively and positively. It is an onerous duty, and an honour to serve in the council. But if one is not ready to put in the time, energy and effort, it is time to go. The council needs a holistic plan to improve the Malaysian Bar. There is much potential but we need to inspire our members again to collectively rise.

56 replies on “FMT Interview with Edmund Bon: (I) Bar Council becoming toothless”

  1. Hi "Tokaapi",

    Appreciate your compliments!!! Kam Siah!!!

    However, kindly allow me to CORRECT you, ok??? Don't be EMBARRAS….human makes MISTAKES after all, yeah???

    OK, OK, OK…Here we go:

    1) You wrote I'm INWARD LOOKING.

    CLARIFICATIONS: This AIN'T no "Inward Looking". This is "OUTWARD LOOKING", understand??? Usually, only a DONKEY will call a "SPOON" a "FORK" & sadly that's you *Sigh*

    2) I'm SORRY I DON'T earn as much as any Chicken or Pork Seller in any wet market.

    CLARIFICATIONS: This is becos' I earn MUCH, MUCH more than them. I'm a BILLIONAIRE!!! Do you want me to DONATE some $$$ for you & your family??? By the way, you WIFE just called me offering me a discounted FREE XXX SERVICE (1 jam = 10 ringgit). I really think you are in need of $$$ though. Feel free to ask, I'll be waiting!!!

    3) You describe me as being GOOD in name calling.

    CLARIFICATIONS: I'm NOT GOOD!!! I'm just BORN TALENTED!!! Pity you CAN'T even differentiate between GOOD & TALENTED. Can you differentiate who is your FATHER & MOTHER??? Buta ke, Bodoh ke….Gua tak tahu lah!!!

    4) Thanks for your message of "May your soul now rest in peace!"

    CLARIFICATIONS: My SOUL is in peace screwing your wife for 10 ringgit an hour.


  2. Sorry I left this out from the above comments!!!!

    My above comments are addressed specifically to TOKZ!

  3. Thank you for the additional comments and being inward looking.Whatever you do to earn a living, you must be extremely frustrated making only as much as a babi seller or a chicken seller in the wet market! That explains why you are good at name calling and spewing expletives. It's a good way to cleanse your soul, if you have one at all, and vent your frustrations of your own failures in life on lawyers. It's a good healing process, though at the expense of others.

    May your soul now rest in peace!

  4. Lingswaran Singh anak seorang SINGH,

    Tapi Cina panggil dia Ah SING,

    Pasal dia Singh dan bukan KELING,

    Cina asyik marah dia Tiu Nia SING.

    Ah Singh suka main BUNTUT,

    Main dari KL sampai JENRANTUT,

    Tahukah kenapa Ah Singh selau KENTUT?

    Pasal dia tak macam nasi PULUT.

    Mak Lingswaran seorang PELACUR,

    Buka kaki orang mula CUCUK,

    Keluarga Lingwaran asyik kena KUTUK,

    Nampak Bayee turban dia kasi KETUK.

  5. FAHRI AZZAT is a LAWYER too ar???

    Mampus lah. I now see more & more FRUSTRATED LAWYERS here.

    No wonder whenever there is a PERHIMPUNAN HARAM, we can see so many LAWYERS taking part.

    Ekonomi TAK baik, bukan???

  6. Hahahahahahaha!!!

    LN is ANGRY hor???? Like I give a FUCK meh???

    Better to put an alphabet of "A" in between "L" & "N". So, this makes it "LAN". LAN CHIAU lor. Kekekekekekeke!!!

  7. Edmund's interview here has one principle message, the Bar Council can do more for certain issues, particularly the issues of the Court Administration.

    Some have taken umbrage to the way that Edmund has raised this. Perhaps there is some valid point in that.

    Some have felt that Edmund has forgotten about all the other positive and good thing BC has done. That too is a valid point. Perhaps Bon should be more specific when he say BC is toothless.

    But all this does not deflect the impression some lawyers have that many a times BC seems helpless when dealing with issues directly related to the Profession.

    The recent stealth-style amendment of the Subordinate Courts Act by AG is a classic example of how our "buddy-ing" with AG has not bore fruit. The AG has not even bothered to refer a matter of such great importance to the Bar for reference, and all we have so far is a Press release from the BC.

    The Bar have little choice but to take a stern stand in some instances. What can be seen in this interview is that, BC seems to prefer the diplomatic approach and when that does not work, BC does not seem to push on… hence the image of BC being toothless.

    We may discuss about the extent of the 'toothlessness' but at the end of the day, if that is the impression Bon has, then we as his fellow members of the Bar should consider and ponder. If you feel Bon is right, then do something – ask for change etc etc.

    If you on the other hand feel Bon is wrong or should not have have this outburst, then the lawyer may chose to deal with that, in that lawyers on way.

    It is my view, that Bon's comment particularly about the Court administration; accurately reflects the way I feel, though i am not certain if that feeling I have is a feeling shared by the majority of the Bar.

    Anyway, thank you Bon for being forthright . Freedom of speech is very much alive in the Bar!

  8. I know Edmund as an activist lawyer and friend. I also know how much the Bar Council means to him, and how much zeal , enthusiasm and focus he had to move this organisation forward.

    He worked to make a difference there, and work from within the system.

    Thus it came as a shock to read this article coming from him, of all lawyers.

    It takes a lot of courage to call a spade a spade!

    And more so to provide an honest appraisal of the very organisation that has helped build you over time.

    All this at the risk of losing his popularity and image too!

    Bravo, Edmund!

  9. Let us not respond to these neurotic comments posted by some shameless guy and let's just focus on the issue instead. Toothless bar council, I guess the description couldn't get any more accurate than this.

    It's extremely delusional to be cuddled by the sweet impression that we are fighting side by side with the people, in the name of their interests where we could hardly push hard enough to get things changed.

    A selective press statement or two won't change the world. If Gandhi, being a lawyer himself resorted to the same approach, India and the rest of world populations would still be colonized as we speak.

    For instance, when the AG and the PM who are expected to put the interest of justice and the rule of law above all, without giving any sound explanation (well we all know that Anwar Ibrahim was invited to close the event) pulled out the very last minute from attending the Malaysian Law Conference, what did the Bar do in response to their repulsive, unprofessional and selfish actions of pulling out (for me it was more of chickening out)? Nothing!

    Why didn’t the bar council do something and make these two unanswerable to the people whose interests were being put at the bottom of the list? For heaven’s sake, this is a law conference we are talking about, not some majlis tari menari sempena mengutip derma dengan belon-belon berwarni wanri menghiasi dewan!

    "Oh what a naive idealist you are, you should be realistic"! I could still remember vividly being accused of this by some lawyers sitting on the human rights committee when I said that no way ISA could be possibly amended following the government wishy-washy talks to amend the draconian act.

    Thank God that those words don't kill me, as I finally found some hope in some selfless activists who happened to be lawyers who believe that being lawyers is not just about making arguments in courts. As long as lawyers refuse to associate themselves with activism, don’t even hope that we will even get close to fighting with the people literally by their side.

  10. Well, that just explains everything isn't it? Thanks Fahri for this info. With this, I shall cease expending further energy trying to say much more. I'd rather spend it on the street protesting.

  11. Hallo TOKZ,

    Let me enlighten you this time, ok? First of all, I am not on drugs like you assume but thanks for yet again showing your creative flair in, eh, name-calling.

    Speaking of which…

    I'm not sial like you – haiya – again assume. But you can call me "sial" if you like. Or "bodoh". Or "blardy fool" if you like since there's no stopping you. Doesn't matter la. I'm just wondering if you've got more than just a lorry-ful of insults to back your arguments because frankly, the rudeness is distracting me from your cleverness.

    Thirdly, I did not say "lawyers" but "people". If I meant lawyers, I would have used the word "lawyers". There are many people trying to defend some basic rights here, not just lawyers. Faham ka?

    Fourthly, you may assume I'm more frustrated than you but then I'm not the one spewing insults left right and centre. And condemning street protests like it's some disease. Going by this logic, I'm definitely not as frustrated as you. Plus, I certainly didn't melaung that protesters should be "shot on sight" which, by any standard – Ethiopian or American – is the epitome of anger.

    Last but not least, I don't need you to educate me on the weaknesses of the judiciary, the bar council, the concept of street protests to pursue justice, the political parties, the public transportation system, Hollywood, Bollywood, my left big toe, etc. You must obviously again assume I was born yesterday to think I'm that naive.

    But it's ok also. You have the right to your opinion also ma. Uninformed as it may be sometimes.

    I'm merely trying to – since you are also exercising your right to scream and shout with all those capital letters and nasty words – exercise my right to express my opinion and it so happens my opinion is that nobody (including organisations of any form) is perfect la but it cannot stop us from trying to bring out the best in us. To fight for causes. We try our best only la. Given whatever outlets we have la – blog ka, demo la, black shirt la. But as civilised people in the 21st century, we can first do better than just shout and scream nasty words la by being….eh apa tu panggil? Oh ya, COURTEOUS. Otherwise, we're just monkeys la. Boleh ikut ka?

    Since you're such a professional when it comes to street demos, why don't you go and point your M16 at the demos made by the entrepreneurs outside Komtar Penang la. Your service is required there especially since they gathered on the basis of a big misunderstanding due to politics. Which is a TOTAL waste of time, no? All the sweat and anger for nothing?

    Lastly, must you go and mudsling Edmund like you know him from birth? Did you rock him in your arms to sleep ar? Are you HIS parents ar? Did you send him to law school? How come you so sure he's all that you've accused of being…spoilt brat, haven't finished paying loan, etc. Or is that your standard description of all lawyers? I also don't know him but that's why I reserve any PERSONAL comments. Something you should try doing for a change because yes, you are taking everything very personally.

    As a mother ("Sial Mother on Drugs" to you), I'm getting all the signs that you are the one that's painting yourself to be the childish one.

    But it's oke la. Just an opinion only ma. Some more from a Sial Mother on Drugs.

  12. Reading the news of Edmund Bon's departure and the subsequent hateful vitriol it's inspired, a couple of film quotes come to mind…

    "I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid… you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin." – Neo (The Matrix)

    "This thing doesn't want to show itself, it wants to hide inside an imitation. It'll fight if it has to, but it's vulnerable out in the open. If it takes us over, then it has no more enemies, nobody left to kill it. And then it's won." – RJ MacReady (The Thing)

    Make of them what you will.

  13. TOKZ,

    I did not say that. You are twisting what I have said. I think what Edmund did is admirable and brave. Please read my comment in full.

  14. Staying above the fray and the filth and name calling spewed by a few decadent miscreants, I wish to address the points raised by Edmund Bon. When I first read the interview, I wondered if Bon was merely "showboating" and wanted to walk away "smelling like roses". There was a degree of selfishness in the interview and concepts like collective responsibility and secrecy provisions all went through my mind.

    But separating the above and looking at the issues put forward, I cannot help but agree that there is a modicum of truth in what Bon is saying. The fact remains that this Council has been viewed as "toothless" and has not taken advantage of the goodwill created in the past 2 years. That perception has not addressed.

    All we get is a whole slew of Press Statements issued by the President. Given that the drain outside my house is often clogged, can the President issue a Press Statement expressing his disgust and asking for the Local Authority to come unclog it?

    Perhaps, we are indeed asking too much from the Bar Councillors. Perhaps, its time that we realise that they cannot really contribute the way we expect them to do so. Once in a while we get a gem, but in most cases, we have to be content with mediocrity.

    Edmund Bon has said what he feels is right. The BC can take stock and improve. Next year, we will see a new President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer. From whom I hear has aspirations, we should all just not expect too much! We can attack Edmund Bon all we want but there is no denying that he is highlighting what he feels is a growing concern.

    The BC can take this badly and mope, weep and wallow in self pity but I would think that the BC should take this opportunity to re-assess itself and reinvent itself.

    Let us not shoot the messenger!

  15. Alamak TOKZ, bukan sahaja tak dak style, tembelang pun pecah!!! Kah kah kah… Tulah perangai macam sial. Tapi muka tak malu cam kau aku rase mesti bising lagi. Kate pepatah Melayu, habis sepasu minyak, ekor anjing diurut tak akan lurus…Maksud: Orang yang bertabiat buruk itu kalau diperbaik sekalipun akan tetap jahat juga. Memang kau ni hati bagai pelepah, jantung bagai jantung pisang, telinga bagai telinga rawah Maksud: Orang yang kurang perasaan malunya.

  16. Sorry I left this out from the above comment!!!!

    EDMUND BON suit what I had described in the said comment. He's young, energetic & ambitious (opportunist I would say) but only to wake-up to reality he's only earning as much as you & me……"Can you imagine the kind of SETBACK & PRESSURE Edmund is facing???"

    This former ST. JOHN INSTITUTION WANKER is probably getting SCREWED by his PARENTS for pursuing LAW DEGREE only to end-up earning as much as any PORK or CHICKEN SELLER in the wet market. EDMUND might have problems repaying his STUDY LOAN & that's why he is now losing TRUST in the BAR COUNCIL. He will soon TRUST Street Demonstration more than his parents, you know???

    The slogan here is …."I'm a STREET BELIVERS"

  17. Don't see you, TOKZ or other professional criticizers, getting off your godly computers to defend anything. No, wait, it's because you're too busy criticizing and using forums to vent out your own frustrations and use rude language just because you can. No, no, wait, it's because you don't feel a need to defend anything coz everything is a-ok for you since you propagate apathy. No, wait. I don't know what you're really on about. About the only thing I do get is you're one major candidate for anger management courses.

    Whatever it is, we get it la. You are smart la. You are tok gurus of enlightenment. But you lack respect because you don't give respect. If you can't practise self restraint at all to moderate the WAY you express yourselves (because it just takes too much strength and willpower), then you yourselves are barbarians shooting off verbal bullets at will without any modicum of politeness.

    People stand in the line of fire for a cause that could benefit everybody else and you sit here and bring people down the nastiest way possible. You prefer to call them stupid. A disturbance. Whatever. If you're not there contributing or trying to contribute to civil society, then just be quiet. Or is that too difficult also?

  18. Look, all Bon has done is speak his mind, honestly. Something a lot more of us should do in this "politically correct-world-when-it-suits-us" which we live in.

  19. We are Malaysians who believe in the freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 10 of our Federal Constitution. Therefore, it is a right and of Edmund Bon to speak to claim the right to speak out on matters of public interest without fe…ar of being penalised…and to stand up for the betterment of a civilised society for ALL, 28 million of us Malaysians..

    Receive him positively, and take note of his voice. A voice that means he cares for the future of the Malaysian Bar Council, that is ..if any society is to remain relevant in the 'eyes' of the legal fratenity, and 28 million Malaysians.

    Article 10 is the core structure of a mature & civil country nation compared with an uncivilised ones which are mostly found in poverty stricken countries/areas due to lacking in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into a country and of course void of Article 10…lacking in freedom of expressionwithout fear of being penalised.

    I must say, Article 10 in sky blue color on Edmund's T-Shirt is the very appropriate indeed…

    This is the 21st century.. Are Malaysians ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century?

  20. Hi “Fahri Azzat”,

    It’s indeed TRUE what I wrote & they are based on PURE FEEDBACK from LAWYERS!!! I ain’t BULL SHITTING, bro!!!

    If you are a LAWYER then you’ll understand what I’ve written. Perhaps, you are NOT a LAWYER & that’s why I disagree with me.

    Pi tanya LAWYER baru lu percaya wei.

    1. Dear Tokz, You need not put my name in inverted commas when addressing me. I am who I say I am. Regrettably I cannot say the same for you. You use a pseudonym. But then you may appear to also utilize other nicks like Mr. X and Marilyn Tang to corroborate and support your views under the nick of Tokz. All these 3 nicks you use also appear to come from the same IP. What I find interesting is that all three of them write in the same consistent juvenile, ignorant and shallow prose.

      I am really not sure what you are seeking to achieve other than demonstrate to all that have the misfortune of coming across your comments that you have some serious deeper issues that are festering unresolved and that you are practising cheap therapy by posting toxic comments on the LoyarBurok website. I welcome your participation but seriously hope you will reconsider embarassing yourself so shamelessly with your present nicks or any other ones that you may seek to utilize.

  21. Dear Tokz,

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

    I am certain you are capable of far more eloquence and intelligence than you have chosen to share with us. I am fairly certain that you had less apathy before someone, and from the sound of things most likely a lawyer, quite powerfully annihilated your ideals and hopes.

    The toxic cynicism, apathy and insults may stoke your ego but I can assure you it does you a far greater disservice. Because for all your ranting and declarations of cynicism, it does not escape some of us that you are hurting quite badly and deeply, and are at a loss about what to do about it.

    I am certain you know already that the pain only intensifies and alienates when you try to denigrate everything and every one else around you. As LN has pointed out, nobody denies your cleverness. But LN, like many of us, too understands there is more to life and a person than mere cleverness.

    Please consider working to dissipate your anger and see if you can loosen that tight grip you have on your disappointments and hurt. Because just about everybody has their own and have to live with it. Just because we have been hurt, disappointed and are feeling angry, doesn’t mean we have to be nasty about it. And it does not escape the more sensitive of us that you are just as if not more frustrated as you claim all of us lawyers to be.

    You can either work towards increasing your frustration or decreasing it. I wish you all the best and certainly hope you choose the latter and participate in the same critical manner but with more constructive elements.


    You are just a bladdy JOKE,
    With all the rubbish you had WROTE,
    Why are you preaching about VOTE?,
    Please shut up and be in retire MODE

  23. Hi commentator “LN”,

    WoW!!! You sounded even more FRUSTRATED than any dudes heren. Hey….Take it easy lah, wei!!!

    OK, OK, OK….kindly allow me to enlighten you, ok???

    You wrote “People stand in the line of fire for a cause that could benefit everybody else and you sit here and bring people down the nastiest way possible”.

    I believe the people you are referring to are LAWYERS, yeah???

    Look, these LAWYERS are standing in the line of fire is for THEMSELVES ONLY!!! Naive people like you would only think these LAWYERS are there for you, got it??? Are you a DRUGGIE still HALLUCINATING over the ‘HEROIN’ jab you had yesterday ar??? Oooiii…”Bangun, sial”!!!

    In order to be a LAWYER, it’s inevitable that one gotta spend a lot of TIME, EFFORT & RESOURCES during their studying days while NOT forgetting MONEY too. Some are LUCKY to obtain SCHOLARSHIPS while some had to depend on their PARENTS to work their ASS off just to pay the tuition fees. Now that many of these YOUNG TURK LAWYERS had GRADUATED, they thought they’ll be destined to become MILLIONAIRES but unfortunately these YOUNG WANKERS only wakes up to find themselves earning only as much as any ORDINARY SALESMEN on the street. Given such an scenario, will any LAWYERS be FRUSTRATED, DISAPPOINTED & MAD??? “Obviously”, correct???

    Since now these YOUNG LAWYERS had realized what they had studied so HARD for is only EQUIVALENT to a SALESMEN salary, these YOUNG LAWYERS bring their FRUSTRATION & ANGER to the STREET via ILLEGAL STREET DEMOS of which we had witnessed frequently of late. These LAWYERS will BLAME the GOVT for this & that before even bother to look at their own face in the MIRROR.

    I personally find the actions of these LAWYERS SHAMEFUL & CHILDISH. They are behaving like SPOILED BRATS crying in the PUBLIC when their parents refused to buy them TOYS. What even makes it more SHAMEFUL is that many MALAYSIANS thinks the reason why these LAWYERS are participating in ILLEGAL STREET DEMOS is simply becos’ for ‘the rakyat’. ADOI!!! Bodoh bukan???

    Let’s GET REAL, ok???? If the ECONOMY is GOOD, these LAWYERS will be so damn BUSY until they could give NO FUCK about you or me. All they will be busy doing are drafting AGREEMENTS & pocket their income from these hectic assignments. It’s becos’ the economy is BAD & there’s no longer much AGREEMENTS to draft, that’s the reason why these LAWYERS are together with you out on the street YELLING & MARCHING like INSANE BARBARIANS of which made you & me think LAWYERS are SACRIFICING their busy time for us.

    Faham tak???

  24. Whether you agree with Edmund or not, at least he has the guts to speak his mind, knowing very well that a small fraction of disgraceful people will take advantage of the situation.

    Stop using different pseudonyms to comment. Its so obvious it's coming from the same person.

    I say, KUDOS Edmund! We need more people like him.

  25. Its pretty obvious that amethyst and tokz illustrate materialistic-driven individuals who puts profit ahead of social welfare. It seems that they do not care, or perhaps care less indeed about the plight some part of our nation is going thru at the moment.

    If Edmund is a wanker, then i guess u guys are like whores, desperate to get impregnated by Edmund's seed, or perhaps BN's gametes…so that u could make babies and then sell them to make money out of it. U do not give a damn about their future; u're juz interested in generating income for urselves.

    I guess theres not much hope left in you guys, so u can juz keep whining and collecting sperms. Till then, i end this shyt with a "fuck u and have a nice day."

  26. Aiyoh amethyst213!!!

    Fair enough if you wanna justify your arguments but at least use a more relevant or modern example, pleeeaaaassseee????

    Your comment/argument is as good as asking people to use leaves to wipe clean their arse after every dump instead of something innovative called "Toilet Roll".

    Be smart lah, ok??? No point pretending smart.

  27. Goodness gracious!!! Don't know to laugh or feel sorry for this LOST SOUL called "amethyst213"

    I assume this dude is still using LEAVES to wipe clean his ARSE after every dump.

    How on earth can anyone use DECADES old method as to justify today's event??? Betul memang dah SESAT kot.

  28. Well said commentator "amethyst213"!!!

    Understood where you're trying to come from but sadly you had MISSED OUT an EXTREMELY VARIABLE. Thus, kindly allow me to "AJAR" you sikit, ok??? No need to thank me, by the way. Pls. note:

    It's TRUE when you said our beloved country got its' INDEPENDENCE through STREET DEMOS. However, what you had forgotten is that is was then (the PAST, I mean). The WORLD is changing & will be FOREVER changing!!! We can no longer ADOPT PRIMITIVE METHODS as to apply to today's life. Otherwise, we'll end up like CAVEMEN BARBARIANS thinking a COMPUTER is actually GOD, understand??? Kita kena FIKIR MODERN sikit, bro!!!

    The way you are using PRIMITIVE EVIDENCES as to argue today's issue is likened to "ORANG SESAT CARI LEMBU"

    Melayu will call you "Buat MALU negara bahkan buat malu BAPAK"

    Now, do you now finally get it??? *Sigh*

  29. when lawyers do actually fight for the rights of the citizens, holier than thou people like tokz and marilyn tang being ultra skeptical and accusing lawyers for taking out frustration from not making enough money..

    do u people even know edmund bon does no agreement (btw the proper word should be "prepare")?

    i wonder when u people get detained under ISA for no other reason than exercising your rights as citizens, who will you find if not human rights lawyers like edmund and gang..

    oh i forgot, u guys are from one side of the political fence anyway, as long as U MUST NOT OPPOSE watever they say, u wont get into ISA..

    unlike some who dont take side, for you guys, as long as the marches and demonstrations are not organized by umno and perkasa, they are all barbarians making noises..

    nevermind we got our independence through demonstration..

    buat malu tak tahu sejarah negara sendiri!!!

  30. First, DAP got into a MESS with the recent TEE-RONNIE-TENG saga.

    Now, it's PKR turn with their AZMIN-KHALID-SPY CAM saga.

    Next what???

    Ini sudah bukti PAKATAN RAKYAT dah HANCUR!!!

  31. Mr, Mrs or Miss TOKZ.

    Whoever you are, I must admit it's true what you've written.

    Lawyers these days are far too free. It's true when you said it's due to Economy Slowdown.

    There are lesser & lesser 'Agreements' to do of late & this means lesser & lesser $$$ to pocket for many lawyers.

    So, what's the best solution for this???

    ANSWER: "Bring their frustrations to the streets lor."

    These lawyers marches on the streets shouting like some insane barbarians simply becos' they are not getting what they should bring home as lawyers.

  32. Hi there,

    What's the BIG DEAL over the "BAR COUNCIL"??? I see it as a USELESS COUNCIL instead.

    Of late, many LAWYERS are getting more BIADAP. I don't know whether is it due to the recent ECONOMY SLOWDOWN or what. These LAWYERS seems to be getting more involved in POLITICS & STREET DEMOS. Ever wondered why???

    Imagine if the country's economy is GOOD…"Do you think these silly LAWYERS will be so free to get involved in POLITICS or STREET DEMOS???". Come on!!! These LAWYERS will be BUSY enough doing AGREEMENTS alone.

    Becos' the economy is BAD & LAWYERS are facing difficulties making ends meet; this is how "FRUSTRATION" creeps into a LAWYERS life. Next, these IDIOTIC LAWYERS bring their FRUSTRATIONS to the STREETS by participating in ILLEGAL GATHERINGS.

    LATHEEFA LOYA is one LAWYER who suit the above description PERFECTLY. Next is this WANKER called EDMUND BON.

  33. TOKZ smells like an expensive cyber mat rempit. A more reflective answers to the 4 Qs & As he posed and answered to Kenneth are:
    1. Lawyers and men-in-street take part in public outcries for justice to demonstrate to the decadent ‘leaders’ in power the incidents of gross injustice and the ‘breakdown of the rule of law’ perpetuated and sanctioned by them to cling on to power. Lawyers are the closest to the rule of law and can see more clearly the gross injustice committed and they have to be seen to uphold justice without fear or favour.
    2. No, nothing to do with the economy. Lawyers are trained and vouched to be the defenders of the rule of law. If they do not voice their opinion on what they are trained and taken the oath to defend, they will not be worth the salt of their profession.
    3. No, they are not free or frustrated as you imagine. Inspite of their other busy schedules and commitments, those lawyers who are worth the salt of their training and have taken seriously their oath to defend against injustice, are sacrificing their time and expense for the greater good of mankind. They are taking the lead in defence of basic human rights.
    4. These lawyers are defending human rights at great risk and expense to themselves for the greater good of mankind and the citizens of the nation. They are selfless.
    TOKZ, if you still don’t understand it, I am sorry for you!


  34. Edmund,
    One of your best and honest interview so far. The battle is not ova. I think you should still stay in Council and try to make changes from within. I know its not easy, and you’ve been doing these for 5 years, but at least you tried, and you gotta keep on trying. You know you always have our support wat.

    I too sometimes feel like the Bar is not doing enough, like the Sub Court Act amendments. Fuck, I’m still pissed over that and the fact that Council is not doing anything more than handing over a memo. I think the Bar should stop pandering to the Judiciary and start focusing on the real issues.

  35. One PROMINENT LAWYER who is often seen in most ILLEGAL STREET DEMOS venting out FRUSTRATION is that “SUNDAL TUDUNG” name LATHEEFA KOYAK

  36. Hi commentator “KENNETH”,

    I’m saddened you still DON’T get the picture correctly.

    OK, OK, OK…let me put it in more simpler way:

    1) Why LAWYERS participate in ILLEGAL STREET DEMOS?
    ANSWER: Becos’ they are FRUSTRATED.

    2) What causes these FRUSTRATIONS?
    ANSWER: Bad econmony is the cause. There’s no longer any AGREEMENTS to work on & thus this means “BOH LUI” (no $$$)

    3) So, what does LAWYERS do since they are so FREE & FRUSTRATED?

    4) Is it CORRECT to say these LAWYERS are risking their lives for u & justice?
    ANSWER: Only a WANKER will say LAWYERS risk their lives for us. They are risking their lives for themselves & their financial welfare. Get it???

    Do you now understand, KENNETH???

  37. Sad to hear of Edmund's decision. But its a good protest move. Lets see how members feel about supporting Edmund's stand and reflecting on his opinion of the current BC headed by Ragunath Kesavan. Ragu in my opinion stayed long enough as council member then got appointed lah–because he persevered.

    The performance of the BC cannot be measured by press statements alone. I remember a former Bar President got laughed at when he said the BC had issued more than 50 press statements in the past year. That continues to be amusing today.

    The 'balancing' act of making business lawyers and human rights lawyers happy is real at the Malaysian Bar from the days of the ESCAR fiasco. The points raised by Edmund are matters affecting the governance of the whole country, so there is a trust placed on the Bar being the profession closest to these matters to decisively take a lead.

  38. To people’s eyes, lawyers are those who appear in court or sit in office doing Agreements. But you never try and imagine what if one day you are detained or harassed by the police, who do you want to call? Can you call your parents and cry?

    There will be no one side to each thing. If you concede that lawyers become free just because Economy is bad and lesser agreements to do, it is your choice. But if you get sued, I hope you will come back and look at the comments posted here.

    I’ve tried sitting in the office doing agreement and would like to try streets demo sometime soon. Anyone is joining me?

  39. First of all, I would like to congratulate Bon for the frank and wonderful interview. True to your persona, this interview was blunt and spot on, in respect of the status of our Bar today.

    I can completely understand the comments by the likes of Marilyn Tang and Tokz in respect to lawyers, and the legal profession in general. As much as i disagree with their statements or opinions, because not all lawyers are like that, I can see where they are coming from.

    And that is why, the Bar had, failed in its role. When the public have this huge distrust and dissatisfaction with the legal profession in whole, the one to shoulder the blame should be the Bar Council, because it is a body that regulates its members, being the lawyers.

    Rather than just brushing their comments off and be defensive, we need to wake up and admit our mistakes, and find ways, concrete and constructive ways, to change their impression on lawyers and the Bar in a whole.

    Which brings me to the next point, if we are to dissect the motive and the aim of these demonstrations, walks etc, it is actually for a good motive. By walking the street, for e.g. in the Walk for Justice, the lawyers had to sacrifice few cases, offend the authorities, offend the government etc and we should ask ourselves, what is the purpose? Is it for fame? Is it because they are too free? I highly doubt so, its for a cause, for the public more importantly. The crisis arises from the fame Correct x 3 video, which highlighted the weakness in our judiciary and the corruption involved in such practices. So the Bar is fighting for such practices to stop, and for a transparent appointment of judiciary. It is only with a fair and sound judiciary, that true justice can be meted out fairly. Wouldn’t that what everyone wanted, including Marilyn Tang and Tokz? I am sure, all of us, we want the best for our country and it is only with a strong and independent judiciary that we could build a strong foundation for a good country. My point is simply, perhaps we need to sit back, and look at what these guys are trying to achieve, rather than just blindly accusing the Bar of being too free. I believe, a lot of money could have been earned if the 2000 lawyers have been working, or ‘drafting agreement’ as you bluntly put it, rather than walking under the rain and offending the authorities.

    And I applaud the bar’s stand on ISA and all other such unfair laws. After all, who are better equipped to highlight to the people and the citizens, the consequences of such draconian laws. Perhaps, the manner of which the Bar conducted their dissatisfaction, vide walk or demonstration might not be what the people like (it causes a lot of trouble etc), but what other methods that could have been more effective and would get the attention of the authorities? I am sure the Bar would appreciate any feedbacks from the people on how can we highlight this plight to higher authorities, but the sad fact is, no one is willing to stand up and if there are, they will be labelled as trouble maker.

    However, whilst the above intention is good, I believe, the Bar has failed in some way and need to buck up, to ensure that its members do live up to the name of the profession, i.e. defender of justice, rather than being labelled as a professional liar. The Bar would need to re-shift its focus, and revamp itself, in order to play its role more effectively.

  40. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

    I can see amethyst213 getting a slap in his face for using rubbish to define food.

  41. my mistake, its not independence, but the removal of Malayan Union..

    of course, one can say, by extension, the independence..

    and the demonstration was organized by UMNO of course..Dato Onn Ja’afar and Tunku Abdul Rahman were true Malayan/Malaysian afterall..

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