Ridiculous attacks by Lawyers For Liberty, N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya

Yudistra Darma Dorai says the politician lawyers don’t have a clue.

The clueless N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya.

This is in relation to the personal attacks against Khalid’s lawyers by N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya. Politician members of the Bar who personally attack individual lawyers simply for taking briefs defending clients and filing suits.

I’ve long bit my tongue on commenting on the intellectually-challenged Surendran and Koya. Just because they are fellow lawyers. But, no longer.

Their comments (in Surendran’s case, cowardly re-tweets) are, in essence, that Khalid Ibrahim’s lawyers are incompetent, unprincipled and some kind of traitors.

Lawyers are disinterested in their case. We take briefs. We advise, then leave it to the client to decide. It’s not our fight. We are little more than mouthpieces or ‘presentation tools’.

As for the person(s) behind Lawyers For Liberty, it’s a clear case of not having skin in the game. You don’t practice real law, you’re activists (being generous there), not lawyers. What do you know of the ethics of legal practice?

That Liberty lot said, essentially, that it’s okay to sue Utusan Malaysia but not The Malaysian Insider. Liberty huh? These chaps have no clue of the import, the meaning, the historical weight behind the word “liberty”. (And, I’ve not forgotten the time you posted an ignorant comment about how I handled the EO 6 habeas corpus).

Back to the PKR twins, I’ve no issue with your political comments. But, don’t attack your fellow members of the Bar personally.

Understand your intellectual limitations.

Remember the proud history of the Malaysian Bar.

Do you even understand what it means to be robed and stand up for someone else in Court?

No, you haven’t a clue.


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Yudistra is a member of the Malaysian Bar.

Posted on 13 August 2014. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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23 Responses to Ridiculous attacks by Lawyers For Liberty, N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya

  1. Abdul Malek

    Lateffa koya and Sivabalah are politicians. They use the firm of Daim & Gamany to make money, gain publicity and to misrepresent that they are defacto human rights lawyers.This is furthest from the truth. They , like many other politicians use their positions-giving themselves positions in local government ( in PJ) then siphon work to their firm. Personally, I can only label them as FRAUDS. Dont expect any handouts from them-these are ambitious vampires who are hypocrites.

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  3. Guest

    There isn't anything wrong with Edmund defending Khalid, every one has the right to be represented after all. But the problem lies in the fact that Edmund has always portrayed himself as a human rights lawyer who advocated freedom of the press, and he defending Khalid goes against that principle. There are exceptions to the cab rank rule. Isn't this hypocrisy?

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  5. omgmalaysia

    If a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.
    ….. G.K. Chesterton

  6. g2primus2

    I believe that one is judged not only by what one chooses to do but also by what one chooses to not do. The second usually is the more difficult.
    Our principles define our choices. And every choice is a decision of who we want to be.
    If one's convictions on one's principles is very strong then any chance of violating that principle would be avoided however small that chance might be.
    Conversely if one can justify to oneself that principles can be broken based on uncertainty, ignorance and other overriding circumstances then i would rate the conviction meekly. After all how many times can one be absolutely sure of anything.
    There is no right or wrong. No condemnation. It is one's right to choose.
    But it reflects the person that one is.

  7. g2primus2

    Your first question almost stopped me from reading the rest of your article. Shouldnt the question be should a chemistry teacher teach dealers how to make meth. Should a gun expert teach someone how to shoot if he knows that he intends to kill. That is the issue.
    Everything you said makes sense of course. So many words. so many points. But still failed to answer the question. You miss the point. The point is CAN A LAWYER MAKE A CHOICE KNOWING IT IS AGAINST HIS PRINCIPLES AND KNOWING THAT IS WRONG. I am not talking specifically about this case. The impression given is that the answer is no. I am CLARIFYING the impression. I am not talking ambiguity. No clear right wrong blah blah blah.
    As for the other…it is a matter of CHOICE. there will be other qualified doctors with different principles about abortions. A drug addict is also desperate. Should a doctor then administer heroin with a clean needle to prevent him seeking dirty needles. All bs scenarios and arguments.

    • LYNg

      Well of course a lawyer can, in the sense that there isn't a regulatory body that will step in and force them to represent a particular client, or prohibit them from providing representation. Whether a lawyer should, on the other hand, was the whole point of my previous comment. Offering representation regardless of who the client is cannot be wrong, because there is no way to know for sure whether a client is guilty or a matter moot without actually testing the case.

  8. LYNg

    Re g2primus2:
    Should a chemistry teacher refuse a student admission into their class if the student comes from a family of meth dealers? A doctor refuse treatment to a patient who habitually mistreats their body? A registrar refuse their services because they don't think the couple before them should be married? In case you're wondering, the answer is no. On the one hand, that would entail some seriously presumptuous assumptions and stunningly arrogant paternalism. On the other, when you take up any of these posts you agree to perform your duties for something bigger than yourself without fear or favour, and that includes individual biases, because individual 'principles' are essentially biases under a pretty name. So does a lawyer.
    When a lawyer takes a case, their duty to zealously represent a client isn't just for the benefit of the individual client – the system requires them to test the issue at hand, and really, actually test it. That entails not letting the system – including and I would argue especially themselves – assume the truth of one version of the story over the other before all versions are tested. It also means that lawyers must recognise that an admission short of an instruction from their client is not The One Truth that they can cling on to and that allows them to be blind to all other possibilities. That's a lawyer who's not doing their job. It's often not the final answer that counts the most since its impact can be limited to one instance; it's the way you arrive at that conclusion – the 'why' that's the true measure of what the legal system stands for.
    How would you know whether the client in your first scenario has actually committed the offence? There are countless possibilities besides actual guilt which can account for an admission. Have you considered whether the client has broken down after hours or days of continuous police interrogation? Whether they're covering for another? Whether they're part of an organisation which will mete out retribution if they don't falsely admit to the crime? Suffering from a mental illness that makes them compulsively admit to having committed said offence? Honestly mistaken? Feeling the need to atone for something else entirely?
    Oh come on, one might say. You know one la.
    How? Looks like it, sounds like it, must be it? Because they're dark-skinned, big and inarticulate? Yellowish, squinty-eyed with bad breath? Tough? Just have this indescribable vibe that makes you think that they're fishy? Did this before? Posted an anonymous comment on a website? Have a mountain of evidence against them, evidence you should be scrutinising because it's your job to? Because you've come across his or her type a dozen times before and of course there's no reason why this guy should be any different? You DON'T actually know, and it's arguable that in most cases nobody actually knows a defendant's true guilt even after the legal process.
    It's all fine and dandy in clear-cut cases because less from the justice system is required, but the system only has value if it gives the same chances to those in the vilest, murkiest, most ambiguous cases.
    Besides, the issue at hand has a legitimate civil issue that the complainant, regardless of his popularity or lack thereof outside the courts should have a chance to argue with the finest representation the system has to offer. It's only when he has no one to turn to that I'd get very, very worried about the integrity of the people who swore to serve anyone who needs them.
    PS. I know I'm probably unleashing another monster here but – if the patient before the doctor in your second scenario is desperate enough to ask for an abortion from a presumably reputable source despite the hostile climate surrounding abortions, how would you know their desperation wouldn't also push them towards quarters that are considerably less safe after the doctor washes his hands of her? Where are the doctor's principles then?

  9. g2primus2

    To accept is a personal choice, no? If it goes against one's personal principles, one can choose not to accept the client. Should a doctor who is against abortion for example accept a client's request to assist in one? Of course if it does not go against one's principles then others should just shut up.

  10. Stephen B.C. Tan

    Surely, liberty is liberty for all, and not just for people we know or people we support. Think of the Statue of Liberty that France donated to the Americans. It is blind. Why is it blind? Everyone is entitled to counsel, even the rogues and scoundrels, simply becauseto deny them their right to be defended by counsel purely means that the Golden Rule has been compromised.

    I commend my learned friend, Edmund Bon, who I have written somewhere has landed himself in an unenviable position. In this very instance, Edmund has shown us the operation of the highest standards of legal practice!

    • g2primus2

      Is this considered highest standard of legal practice. So the best lawyer to get to defend onesekf is a lawyer who KNOWS that one has committed a crime. ..the he will also be bound be attorney client privilege? You mean to say a lawyer cannot refuse a case even if he knows a crime has been commited? Am not talking specifically here. Just principles

      • Andrew

        If your client has confessed to you his guilt, you can enter a plea of not guilty but you cannot lead any evidence that suggests that he is innocent; you can only argue that there is insufficient evidence to convict.

    • g2primus2

      You mean to say lawyers have no choice? If someone says to a lawyer and says i have killed/raped/robbed. You have no choice not to defend him? Really? I am sure right to legal council does not equate getting the guilty free

  11. Joachim

    There's the cab rank rule. Should have really mentioned that. Duty to the law, sisters/brothers to the law in the profession, no? Of course, the other extreme is, everything is personal.
    http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/national_young_law

  12. Yudistra

    Alex yang has seen through my bs. And, there I was thinking I disguised the post well enough. Lol.

  13. Alex Yang

    "I’ve long bit my tongue on commenting on the intellectually-challenged Surendran and Koya. Just because they are fellow lawyers. But, no longer."

    Lawyers criticising lawyers for criticising another lawyer. 2×5. You LoyarBurokers must be Bonnies practising Bonism. He is laughing to the bank, while u defend him.

  14. Alex Yang

    Aren't you personally attacking too? Lol

  15. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

  16. Aston Paiva

    Yudi,

    Despite the brevity, this obviously came from the heart. Good on you!

  17. sugarain

    ya you are right about it. Some along the way get corrupted. What to do? Well everyone gets corrupted. So what to do?

  18. joanna

    THIS THING should be couquer quick as much as you can!!!

  19. NN Taleb

    "Skin in the game"

    Like your usage of this term, Mr. Swan.

    *wink*