Lawless defenders of anarchists

The Bar Council is clearly a professional bofy in defiance to the principles of the profession. They are in favour of individual rights which is very much reflective of the political leaning these deemed sedition criminals, against the rights of the Malaysian public and the sancity of the Federal Constitution.

Press Release

Recent Arrests and Actions by the Authorities are a Closing of Democratic Space

The Malaysian Bar is appalled by the recent arrests of several individuals pursuant to the Sedition Act 1948. The Sedition Act, as with its predecessor the Sedition Ordinance, was conceived and designed by a colonial government to stifle fundamental rights and liberties, oppress the rakyat and deny them democratic space. Its sole purpose was to suppress and persecute the citizenry. The Sedition Act has no place in our modern democratic society and should have been discarded at Merdeka. The time for it to be dumped into the dustbin of history is long overdue.

It has been reported that Adam Adli, Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar and Haris Ibrahim were arrested for purportedly making seditious statements at a forum held on 13 May 2013. The continued use of the Sedition Act by the authorities directly contradicts the promise made less than a year ago by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak in July 2012, that the 64-year-old law will be repealed and replaced in 2013 by a National Harmony Act. This was a clear admission and recognition by the Government that the Sedition Act was an anachronistic and repressive colonial law. The Prime Minister further stated that the new law will not prevent members of the public from criticising the government, quoting John Locke who said, “…the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.”

The decision to arrest Adam Adli, Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar and Haris Ibrahim is therefore an unacceptable repudiation of the promise made by the Prime Minister. It further raises questions over the Government’s sincerity in pursuing transformation and greater civil liberties through legislative reforms.

The test of a genuine democracy is to allow words to be said even when we disagree with them. As much as one may not agree with the calls for public demonstrations to oppose the Government and question its electoral legitimacy, citizens nevertheless have a fundamental right to express themselves in such manner so long as they do so peacefully and there is no call for the use of violence. The authorities would be wrong to assume that a call to overthrow the government must necessarily be only by violent means. Time and again, the rakyat have shown that they can gather in public assembly in large numbers, yet peacefully. It is therefore unjustifiable and premature to preempt the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms with assumptions or postulations of the use of violence. As much as dissent and opposition may be unpalatable, these must not be criminalised and silenced, but countered with open and healthy debate, reforms and concrete changes.

The Malaysian Bar is equally troubled by the arrest of 18 persons holding a peaceful candlelight vigil outside the Jinjang Police Detention Centre on 22 May 2013. The Malaysian Bar is disappointed that the police have said that they can no longer tolerate such candlelight vigils. It is not the role of the police to tolerate or otherwise, but it is their duty to facilitate the exercise of democratic freedoms. The police must bring themselves into the 21st century and cease suppressing the rights of the rakyat. The Malaysian Bar is concerned that these incidents may also signal a lurch towards greater authoritarianism, fascism and persecution of those whose viewpoints differ from those of the Government. It feeds an already widely held belief that there is an unhealthy symbiotic relationship between the police on the one hand, and Government on the other. In simple terms, “You protect me, I defend you”.

This may be seen from the failure of the authorities to take similar action in other obvious cases that more clearly evidence utterances and publications exhibiting seditious tendencies. It is inexplicable that there has been no similar prosecution against the likes of:

(a) Ibrahim Ali, for allegedly inciting the burning of Malay language bibles;

(b) Ridhuan Tee Abdullah and Zulkifli Noordin, for allegedly disparaging the Hindu religion and insulting adherents of the religion;

(c) The racial rhetoric of the Prime Minister in his allegation of a “Chinese tsunami”, followed by the Utusan Malaysia article entitled “Apa lagi orang Cina mahu?”; and

(d) Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah, a former Court of Appeal judge, for allegedly accusing a racial group of treason and warning of retribution by another racial group.

While the Malaysian Bar is not advocating the use of the Sedition Act against these individuals, we abhor the discrepancies in treatment and the selective prosecution by the authorities in this regard. Further, the police should not have made an application for the remand of Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar and Haris Ibrahim, because it was an abuse of the process of the law. Given that the alleged incident occurred 11 days ago, the police should already have evidence of what was allegedly said. We commend the Magistrate for having refused the application for remand.

The Malaysian Bar strongly urges the authorities to withdraw the charge against Adam Adli, and not to prosecute Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar, Haris Ibrahim and the 18 individuals arrested at the candlelight vigil. We urge them to respect the freedom of speech and assembly as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. The Malaysian Bar also urges the Government to resist the temptation to quell dissenting voices by resorting to archaic and oppressive legislation. Otherwise, the promise of freedoms made by the Prime Minister will be nothing more than a mere platitude.

The Malaysian Bar deplores the seizure of copies of Harakah, Suara Keadilan and The Rocket, the newspapers of political parties PAS, PKR and DAP, respectively. We reiterate that the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 should be abolished. The condition imposed by the authorities on these three publications — prohibiting their sale and distribution to members of the public at large — is unconstitutional, as it breaches the right of the publishers to the freedom of expression. It is also a breach of the constitutional rights of the public to receive such information.

The recent arrests, prosecutions and confiscations by the authorities are manifestations of regressive and undemocratic conduct. The current environment is not reflective of a government aspiring to achieve world-class democracy. Rather than bringing about a society that is at ease with itself, it is instead creating an environment of grave concern.

The Malaysian Bar calls upon the newly elected Government to demonstrate its commitment to a continuing course of transformation and democratic reforms, not by rhetoric alone but by sincere and genuine action. To promote greater democracy, the Government should welcome diversity of opinion, not close democratic space.

Christopher Leong
Malaysian Bar

24 May 2013


It is ashamed that the Bar Council taking cheap shots based on the four examples listed listed. These are really lame cases to justify their own rhetorics on biased manipulation of principles of law, in support for the lawlessness of Opposition leaders which include clear cut instigation and insedious acts and words uttered.

Bar Council should be more concerned of the trend where more and more materials and acts of sedition have been deployed to stir up the emotions of Malaysians everywhere and the effort is getting more frequent and intense. Those are acts of crime against the public and Federal Constitution.

Just like many times before, the Bar Council has somewhat became a political organisation instead a professional body.

A Bar Council sanctioned banner, on the Bar Council building front wall

A Bar Council sanctioned banner, on the Bar Council building front wall

In the past, Bar Council has made serious accusations to demonise the role and position of the Royal Malaysian Police in the society, which till present day they are unable to substantiate. This is not withstanding that the Bar Council is in support of Lina Joy’s application to be legally declared as an apostate, which the Federal Court decided it is unconstitutional.

All these are simple and straight forward evidences that the Bar Council is an apparatus for the Opposition to realise power via the ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy.

If the stewards of the so-called body which governs the profession is bent towards the Opposition and their political stance instead of being impartial for the sake of upholding the principles of the law and the spirit it existed, then they are actually playing the counter productive role in the moving the nation forward.

This is a nation of and by the Rule of Law. In defiance, they are deemed agents of anarchy.

Published in: on May 27, 2013 at 10:30  Comments (18)  

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  1. Can anyone tell me what exactly are the roles of the Bar Council – apart from looking after the interests of members?

    What I know of is that lawyers are also “Officers of the Court” in that as and when they have proofs of crimes, they should report to the authorities, and they themselves must NEVER engage in such. Why are there even murderers among them, like the bloke in the Sosilawati case has been found guilty and is to hang?

    Yes, if they may express concern about crimes, but have they proof of crimes in the “deaths in custody” cases?

    Are they being responsible when throwing their lot with those who have political objectives and make a lot of wild, unsubstantiated accusations?

    • No, they don’t have proofs of Police responsibility on the “deaths in custody cases”. They are not much better than the Opposition fellows who habitually make wild and unsubstantiated claims – they even seem to be a part of the Opposition, active members participating in Bersih rallies which carry the political issues of Opposition political parties.

      Here is a clear example:

      According to Bernama, Police have confirmed that the death of a 40-year-old detainee in the Penang police contingent headquarters lock-up Sunday was due to liver failure.

      State CID deputy chief, ACP Nasir Mohd Salleh said the nature of R.Jamesh Ramesh’s death was confirmed by the hospital after a post-mortem.

      He said there were no injuries on the body and no criminal element involved.

      “Police have also recorded statements from the deceased’s cellmates and they claimed that the deceased was in a state of ‘high’ throughout the night,” he told reporters, here on Monday.

      Jamesh Ramesh who was unemployed and had a criminal record for robbery was arrested in front of a community hall in Jalan Patani, here, on Saturday when he was found positive for morphine in a urine test.

      Police only realised that he was dead when they came to the lock-up at 10.30am Sunday to bring him to court for a remand order.

  2. I am appalled by the partiality of the Bar Council towards the Opposition and now the Black 505 rally demonstrators. Their hatred of the ruling government is such that they are willing to condone the actions of these anarchist to achieve their goal of overthrowing the government through lawless means.

    The Bar Council’s bias and hypocrisy is all the more disappointing as they are supposed to be upholding the very laws that they are encouraging the demonstrators to break. They are only concerned about the arrest of these menaces but not the dangers they pose. As “upholders” of the law, the Bar Council should educate the naive and the ignorant, namely the followers of the 505 rallies, on the true picture of the ‘first-past-the-post” system, and also speak up of the necessity of the Election critics to provide evidence of fraud or foul-play.

    The Bar Council’s freedom of speech applies only to whoever disagrees with the Government. SHAME ON YOU!

    • Hear hear hear.

      I fully support what you say, Garrett.

  3. bar council is defending law breakers..shame on you

    • Are they not themselves law breakers, too? Are not a few of the Committee members also on the Bersih Committee? At least 1-2 very active Bar Council members were. Goodness, Ambiga herself is a Council member – a past President at that. And I’m sure many of their members took part in the Bersih Rally in addition to Ambiga and those on the Bersih Committee.

      Indeed, shame on them. But they shameful thing is that they don’t appear to have any shame.

      Remember that before the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was gazetted and came into force, any rally without a Police permit was illegal. And there were Bersih Rallies carried out without Police permits. Were they not breaking the laws? Sure they were.

      And are there not members of the Bar Council participating in the illegal so-called Blackout505 rallies? The PKR has several lawyers – members of the Bar Council – in their midst, even as party office bearers. Are they not themselves law breakers? Those who attended sure are.

      Sad, very sad state of affairs in this country when Bar Council members are not “upholding the law” that they are supposed to.

  4. The legal profession is a noble profession. This nation achieved its Kemerdekaan because our founding fathers were mostly lawyers; as they argued for their case & negotiated really well.

    However, that honour cannot be attested to the minority, who are so-called leaders in the legal profession guild.

    Bar Council office bearers & activists are reflective of the liars, sodomist, adulterator, power abusers, cop-biting etc they are defending, using their local standi as the body which the profession they represent.

    They manipulate situation & circumstances to justify their stance on the ‘rights’ they are attempting to preserve. And at the cost of everything else.

    They are no better in the perspective or morally, legally or constitutionally to the criminals, morally degenerate & social misfits they are defending.

    Shame on these lawyers!

    • No doubt, there are black sheep in any grouping, in any profession. And there are some 13,000 of them lawyers in this country. Some are criminals, yes one has just been judged to hang till death on the Sosilawati case. But what is the Bar Council doing to put their house in better order? Instead of always shouting at others to do so.

      It’s the committee, I think. From the President who gave some unconvincing reasons not accepting a member who wrote in volunteering to do the counting at their annual election of office bearers. To those who sat on the committee of Bersih and some other controversial NGOs.

      They appear to want to guard jealously their positions on the committee. Calling for annual meetings without adequate notice. Challenged in court by one member but, alas, they won. Are judges also members of the Bar Council? We cannot accuse, can we, but sure we can ask – might the judge also have been “under influence”? Didn’t the Chief Judge say at their seminar in Kelantan last year that members of the public may not comment on Court proceedings but can do so on judges’ decisions?

      Whatever happened to the idea (mooted by Nazri, then Minister in PM’s Department?) of setting up another body for the legal profession?

  5. Jika kita ubah sikit kata menteri … siapa tak suka undang-undang Malaysia silalah berhijrah kenegara yg mereka suka dan akan diterima dgn suka.

    Satu lagi … Bar Council ni memang susah nak beri pengiktirafan pada Ijazah Serjana Muda Undang-Undang yg dikeluarkan oleh IPTA … agaknya takut ramai lawyer Melayu yg akan sokong kerajaan dan menguasai Bar Council … harap ade menteri yg akan ambil kesah tentang ini.

    • Tentu lah mereka tidak minat dengan lulusan undang undang dari IPTA, sebab ramai Melayu yang bertabi’at sopan santun, mengikut adat, mengikut peraturan dan undang undang, tidak biadab seperti Lim Guan Eng (bekas Naib President Tunku Aziz kata begitu), yang di agungi oleh sebahagian ahli Majlis Peguam itu.

      Jadi, jika ramai lulusan IPTA di Majlis Peguam itu, akan ramai yang bisingkan telatah mereka yang biadap. Maka oleh sebab Majlis Peguam tidak minat dengan keahlian lulusan IPTA, suatu badan peguam yang bahru perlu di tubuhkan.

      Kerajaan perlu menggalakkan dan membantu penubuhan suatu badan peguam yang lain. Mana mana iniasiatif yang telah di lakukan oleh pihak pihak berkenaan di pemerintahan yang lalu perlu di teruskan.

  6. Nobody, nobody which in lowyers parlance means everybody, must be obligated to the advice given by the Boar Council on everything and anything. Failures to do so means you are not educated nor knows nut about democrazy! To be subservient and agreeable to any duly elected government is a crime of the same status as waging wars against the lordtongkang of the Boar Council.
    Anarchists and lawbreakers were the model citizens of this zombieland. They were the only group contributing to the well being of the Boar Council and filling it’s much needed war chests to enable the the Boars to live an indulged lifestyle.

  7. Bar Council has no credibility in wanting to play the role of advocating what is best for Malaysia in terms of the approach in maintaining law and order. Its selectivity of circumstances is a prelude to its biasness. As such, just give us one reason why we should bother about what Bar Council says or thinks. It is irrelevant. If it wants to become an arm of the political parties of the opposition, just declare it openly. Why is it that the enforcement of the law is wrong in its eyes? By that very position that it has taken, it has made itself bias to the point of being irrational.

  8. Majlis Peguam ini agenda Bukan Melayu aka Tsunami Cina.

    Bunyinya rasis, namun ianya realiti!

    Tu sebab Presiden Majlis Peguam ni senarai empat kes tu aja.

    Tulisan bukan setakat kat dinding. Dah terpampang atas dahi! Dengan marker pen lak tu!

  9. And what is the Bar Council’s interpretation of world class democracy? There is no such a thing as world class democracy. The US has its Patriot Act and the UK has its internal security act. These acts exist in countries which one tends to regard as liberal democracies. And in Msia it was changed from ISA to SOSMA. A pretty big leap done by the govt which in any case is not supported by many in Malaysia. The practice of democracy worldwide is not universal in its implementation. It is modified based on factors such as security, social, cultural and religious values that exist in a particular society, multiracial demography of a country, just to name a few. I sure would like to know what world class democracy as mentioned by Bar Council really is, i.e if it exists at all.

  10. And what does Bar Council mean by ‘ grave concern’? They should be gravely concerned by the continuous efforts by the oppositions to organise rallies denouncing the govt, the EC and dragging the masses into their endless political adventures and tirades. Grow up will yer? If you people are so hang up about democracy, get those oppos to respect the outcome of the GE13 to begin with.

  11. ” to promote greater democracy ,the government should welcome diversity of opinion,not close democratic space”

    Does the bar council president understand the meaning that he is saying.

  12. If Bar Council wants an open democratic space, it should learn to accept the views of a),b), c) and d) above. If not it is also practising a close democratic space.

  13. To the Bar(f) Council, I have only one word for you.


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