|Statement: Unite to defend our calling as lawyers|
|Monday, 11 May 2009 01:38pm|
Unite to defend our calling as lawyers
Dear Members of the Bar and Pupils in Chambers,
I thank those of you who attended the solidarity gathering at the Jalan Duta Court Complex, at very short notice, last Friday morning. This was an important, meaningful and well-appreciated gesture to show our support to the five Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre lawyers who were arrested last Thursday.
I now call on every one of us to unite and attend this Friday’s EGM in full force. The aims of the EGM are two-fold. Firstly, to demonstrate unequivocally that the Malaysian Bar condemns, in the strongest terms possible, the arrest of the lawyers. Secondly, to enhance support within the Bar, and create awareness and garner public support, for the right of access to legal representation and the freedom of lawyers to perform their duties without harassment or intimidation.
Let us, with one voice, express our shock and disgust at this utter disrespect for the criminal justice system, this absolute mockery of the constitutional right to legal representation, this blatant transgression of the rule of law, this travesty of justice.
It is imperative to show our strength in numbers. The impact of having 2,000 lawyers at our Walk for Justice in September 2007 was far from insignificant. It was a tremendous milestone for the Malaysian Bar and sent a strong message to the government that lawyers will battle for the integrity of the Judiciary.
Let us come together once again, this time to defend our calling and our right to carry out our professional obligations without harassment. It is said that lawyers serve as the final bulwark against injustice and oppression, and so we must fight to preserve the unconditional right to provide legal representation to those in need. We must not sit idly by while our fellow members’ ability to act in their professional capacity is so harshly curtailed.
Let us also unite to acknowledge all our colleagues who have, time and again, and without regard for their own safety and well-being, come to the aid and defence of those arrested for exercising their fundamental rights to assemble peaceably and to freedom of expression. Let us salute our five colleagues from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre – Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Binti Anuar, Puspawati Binti Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Binti Safwan – who exhibited great courage and demonstrated the highest standards of the Malaysian Bar last Thursday. Their exemplary sense of duty and professionalism are an inspiration to us all.
I fervently hope to see you at the EGM this Friday.
11 May 2009
To see first-hand the despicable conduct of the police in arresting our colleagues and the abuse of police power, watch this video: