Candidate Watch Campaign: Do not throw that ballot paper away!

“Candidate Watch” by KL Bar Young Lawyers Committee announces its plan to revolutionise the way lawyers vote for Bar Council members. The plan will see “Candidate Watch” sending election candidates a set of pertinent questions and the answers will be published on the Bar website to assist voters in their assessment.



The Bar Council Elections take place every year during the month of November. The purpose of the Elections is to elect members who will sit in Council and be tasked under the Legal Profession Act to manage the affairs of the Malaysian Bar and to carry out various functions as specified under the Act. Candidates for the Elections are nominated by at least 3 members – you should have received your nomination papers by now! By early November, Bar Council will announce the candidates and ballot papers are sent to members for them to vote.

The question is how many members even bother to vote? Out of 13,000 members, Bar Council only received the returned ballot papers in the region of 3,000. Most members, when asked about the Elections, do not know how to participate as they have no clue who to elect, or who is best to represent their interests in Bar Council. More often than not, the ballot papers end up in the dustbin.

With this in mind, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Young Lawyers Committee will embark on a first-of-its-kind initiative to create awareness amongst the members of the Bar on the coming Bar Council Elections. We call it, Candidate Watch.

How does it work? Simple. Once the Bar Council announces the list of candidates in early November 2010, we will send to each candidate a set of questions relating to the issues affecting the Bar through email, post and/or fax. Candidates will then be given a week to answer the questions. The answers will then be published on the Bar website to assist you in your assessment and casting of your vote.

It is hoped that with this initiative, more members will vote in the Elections, instead of throwing their ballot papers away.

The Kuala Lumpur Bar Young Lawyers Committee

See Also: Bar Council Elections: Candidate Watch Campaign

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Posted on 26 October 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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8 Responses to Candidate Watch Campaign: Do not throw that ballot paper away!

  1. Kenneth Wong

    Dear Bar Warriors,

    In reply to your queries –

    1. Siapakah peguam-peguam muda yang perlu diundi untuk Majlis Peguam?

    The Campaign's initiative is not to pinpoint or highlight which lawyers (or young lawyers) that should be elected to the Bar Council, as it would then possibly and definitely be a biased campaign. However, what the KL Bar YLC intended to achieve is to first raise awareness amongst the lawyers and to enable the lawyers to get to know the candidates better – up close and personal.

    2. Adakah peguam-peguam perlu revolusi dalam Majlis Peguam yang telah merosot?

    One of the reason for the campaign is to ensure that the members know who they are voting for, what do these candidates hope to achieve being a Bar Councillor and hopefully, by this initiative, good candidates would be elected – which could carry on revamping and improving the Bar.

    3. Mengapa Majlis Peguam tidak bertindak dalam kes baru-baru ini di mana pelatih-pelatih telah ditangkap?

    I believe the representatives from Bar Council would be more apt in answering this query instead of the campaign initiators.

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  3. tawi sli

    Haris and Raja Petra

    (in refer yr post:

    DSAI said this regarding Batu Sapi and Yong Teck Lee reported in Mkini on 24th Oct by Kuek:

    “Officially, SAPP is independent. In the parliament, they never identify themselves as the opposition. So there is a difference -independent means they can choose to support either way,” said the Permatang Pauh member of parliament.

    Asked why negotiations with SAPP led by its Batu Sapi candidate Yong Teck Lee (left) broke down, Anwar hinted at the former BN component party's desire not to burn bridges with the ruling coalition in charge of the Putrajaya.

    “Apparently SAPP will not commit to participate or be part of Pakatan Rakyat, either at the national level or even at the state level. Therefore, we could not achieve an understanding.

    “If you say you can't commit to be part of Pakatan Rakyat, can you say that you will not be part of BN?” asked the former deputy prime minister-turned opposition supremo.

    Howq? 3rd force means wont be accepted by DSAI/Pakatan so will you force 3 cornered fights if PR dont accept?

  4. Bars Warrior

    Tolong jawab ini Young Lawyers:

    1. Siapakah peguam-peguam muda yang perlu diundi untuk Majlis Peguam?

    2. Adakah peguam-peguam perlu revolusi dalam Majlis Peguam yang telah merosot?

    3. Mengapa Majlis Peguam tidak bertindak dalam kes baru-baru ini di mana pelatih-pelatih telah ditangkap?

  5. wakhan pass

    Support this initiative. Good stuff KL Bar YLs, we should have done this long time ago. I believe it was attempted sometime back and Sasha and Legal Aiders as well as Amer and young lawyers tried. But still not many vote. Keep it up. Ask all candidates for their manifesto and evaluate their performance after the term. There are big shoes to fill.

  6. Lee Shih

    Looking forward to this inaugural Candidate Watch. I'm sure most, if not all, of the candidates will be happy to give their personal views to any questions posed. It'll be great way for us, the members, to find out more about the candidates.

  7. I really hope this is not a hijack party somehow. dr.Evil??? Gerakan?!? Which Gerakan man was that you spoke to? VERY few Gerakan are worthy of anything these days . . .

    "as long as these politicians do not see the MCLM as a competitor"

    Did you see these articles below? If you guys are merely going to play ball with either side, MCLM will serve no purpose but to attract opportunists playing underdog and ultimately lapdogs who accept apartheid and the horrors listed in the below links.

    Don't be here to worship people who will cause conflict of interest or cause nepotism and oligarchy. Can you tell them to their face that they and their political parties are harming Malaysia? If not, forget it.

    Expertise and experience is useful but if no attempt is made against those of offending intent by being a competitor, you guys had better warn the truly honest Rakyat. What we are lamenting about that so far none want to broach :

    Compensation for Rep's Kin – by Sunday Star – 18th APR 2010

    The Gambier Threat – Mid 2010….

    The column that wasn’t – Marina Mahathir – 3rd March 2010

    If these are not central to 'New Politics' then you guys sure aren't the 3rd force we were hoping for.

    But lets see if it is so or not. We all wish for the best for this country, even as others just see their fellow citizens as nuisances to remake in their own corrupt or inconsiderate mould.

    That’s all for now?

  8. duiertewr

    Lord Bobo…KL Bar, what say you about this – lawyers fighting force in elections = national elections, not Bar:

    Back in 2004, I attended the inaugural meeting of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Society (MCLS) at the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Some even paid RM250 to sign up as a member of this new society that promised exciting days ahead of us. And it would have been exciting because the people involved were those from the legal fraternity, professionals, activists from the civil society movements, and new Bloggers like me (Malaysia Today had just been born then).

    That was six years ago and after six years nothing further has happened. This is because the MCLS is still awaiting the approval of its registration. Considering that some have been waiting ten years or more for the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to approve the registration of their political party or society/association I suppose this six-year wait is not surprising at all.

    Since then much has happened in the Malaysian political scene. The opposition has formed a new coalition called Pakatan Rakyat after the breakup of the first coalition, Barisan Alternatif, that was launched in 1999. The opposition made a remarkable recovery in the 2008 general election after the disaster of 2004. Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has bailed out and has handed the reins of power to his successor, Najib Tun Razak. And so on and so forth.

    The MCLS, however, is still waiting to be born while the world around it has moved on. And it appears like the MCLS will never see the light of day unless I take matters into my own hands. And take matters into my own hands I must.

    This Saturday, 30th October 2010, I am going to legalise the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM). And so that I do not create any confusion or be accused of ‘hijacking’ the MCLS, I am going to call it ‘Movement’ instead of ‘Society’.

    Thus the launching of the MCLM this Saturday to take over from the MCLS that was shot down even as it was still taxiing on the runaway and before it could take off.

    Earlier this month, Tan Sri Sanusi Junid came to my house for dinner and we talked about the MCLM that is going to be legalised at the end of this month. Sanusi said that Tun Dr Mahathir actually has the same idea and that the latter did speak to the former about it.

    This is purely coincidental, of course, and we are not taking this initiative to beat Dr Mahathir to the starting line (I told Sanusi first about the MCLM before he mentioned the part about Dr Mahathir’s idea). However, if Dr Mahathir does have the same idea then he should not raise any objections to our initiative to launch the MCLM.

    The objective of the MCLM, amongst others, is to promote and propagate The People’s Voice and The People’s Declaration ( to all political parties contesting the coming general election.

    Another objective of the MCLM is to ‘offer’ non-political party candidates from the amongst the Malaysian professionals/lawyers and the civil society movements to ALL the political parties contesting the general election that may either be short of candidates or are not able to find ‘quality’ candidates to field in the elections.

    This, incidentally, is also Dr Mahathir’s objective, said Sanusi. So this is even more reason why Dr Mahathir should not block our effort since what we are attempting is something he too is talking about.

    One thing these political parties must understand is that the MCLM candidates are not going to be ‘party stooges’ and neither will they seek positions in any political party. Their loyalty will be to the voters, the rakyat, and not to the political party that they represented in the elections. This will be our term and condition and if this is not acceptable to these political parties then they are free to reject our offer of candidates.

    It is not the intention of the MCLM to become another political party or to participate in three-corner fights with Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. It is to complement both coalitions in addressing a most important issue concerning Malaysian politics — and that is to see the emergence of ‘politik baru’ or ‘new politics’. It is also to see the realisation of a two-party system — which means we have to ensure that both coalitions are equally strong (or equally weak, as the case may be) and ‘better-balanced’ than they are now.

    I have also spoken to various leaders from Gerakan, PKR, PAS and DAP about this and the first impression appears to be that the idea is being well-received — of course as long as these politicians do not see the MCLM as a competitor because politicians are suspicious of competition.

    It is actually too premature for me to tell you more because we shall only be legalised by this weekend. However, since Kayveas has somehow already got wind of it (because Sanusi may have informed Dr Mahathir about our discussion this month who in turn informed Kayveas), and since Kayveas has pre-empted my move with his statement about the matter, I thought I would give Malaysia Today’s readers a heads up or early warning of what’s to come.

    Anyway, don’t react just yet until all the details about the MCLM are revealed. We hope the MCLM will become a new and exciting milestone in Malaysian politics and that it would be able to satisfy what many are lamenting about and what appears to be lacking in Malaysian politics.

    That’s all for now but stay tuned and I shall tell you more as we go along. I hope that many of you who talk about doing something but do not know what you can do will participate in the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement and help push Malaysia towards seeing that change that we clamour for.

    [source: malaysiatoday]