The Malaysian Bar is a creature of statute established under the Advocates and Solicitors' Ordinance 1947 which ordinance was subsequently repealed by the Legal Profession Act 1976. It is an independent Bar whose aim is to uphold the rule of law and the cause of justice and protect the interest of the legal profession as well as that of the public.
Purpose of the Malaysian Bar
The purpose of the Malaysian Bar shall be -
(a) to uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interests or that of its members, uninfluenced by fear or favour;
(b) to maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Malaysia;
(c) to facilitate the acquisition of legal knowledge by members of the legal profession and others;
(d) where requested so to do, to express its view on matters affecting legislation and the administration and practice of the law in Malaysia;
(e) to represent, protect and assist members or of the legal profession in Malaysia and to promote in any proper manner the interests of the legal profession in Malaysia;
(f) to establish libraries and to acquire or rent premises to house the libraries and offices of the Malaysian Bar or amenities for the use of members either alone or in conjunction with any other body or society;
(g) to protect and assist the public in all matters touching ancillary or incidental to the law;
(h) to make provision for or assist in the promotion of a scheme whereby impecunious persons may be represented by advocates and solicitors;
(i) to award prizes and scholarships and to establish and subsidise lecturership in educational institutions in subjects of study relating to law;
(j) to grant pecuniary or other assistance to any association, institute, board or society in Malaysia in the interest of the legal profession or of the law students;
(k) to afford pecuniary and other assistance to members or former members of the Malaysian Bar and to the wives, widows, children and other dependants, whether of members, former members or deceased members who are in need of any such assistance;
(l) to promote good relations and social intercourse amongst members and between members and other persons concerned in the administration of law and justice in Malaysia;
(m) to encourage, establish and maintain good relations with professional bodies of the legal profession in other countries and to participate in the activities of any local or international association and become a member thereof; and
(n) to establish a Compensation Fund.
Bar Council Elections
The Bar Council elections are held annually. Nominations start during the month of October and postal ballot papers are distributed to all members of the Malaysian Bar in the first week of November.
A person is disqualified from being a member of the Bar Council or a Bar Committee, or of any committee of the Bar Council or a Bar Committee -
(a) if he is a member of either House of Parliament, or of a State Legislative Assembly, or of any local authority; or
(b) if he holds any office in-
(i) any trade union; or
(ii) any political party; or
(iii) any other organisation, body or group of persons whatsoever, whether or not it is established under any law, whether it is in Malaysia or outside Malaysia, which has objectives or carries on activities which can be construed as being political in nature, character or effect, or which is declared by the Attorney General by order published in the Gazette, to be an organization, body or group of persons which has such objectives or carries on such activities.
Where a member of the Bar Council or a Bar Committee, or of any committee of the Bar Council or a Bar Committee, becomes so disqualified, he is immediately deemed to have vacated his membership in the Bar Council any office that he may hold therein.
A member of the Bar Council is required to vacate his office if -
(a) he is struck off the Roll or is suspended from practising as an advocate and solicitor; or
(b) he becomes bankrupt or insolvent or enters into composition with any creditor or takes or attempts to take the benefit of any written law to liquidate his assets or affairs; or
(c) he becomes of unsound mind; or
(d) he resigns his seat on the Bar Council; or
(e) he is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Bar Council without reasonable cause and the Bar Council resolves that he be removed from office.