|Bar Council: Rally report is balanced|
|Monday, 14 May 2012 08:11am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
by REGINA LEE
PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council has hit back at suggestions that it is biased and quick to condemn the police over the Bersih 3.0 rally last month.
Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee said both Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz would have understood the Bar’s position had they read the final report prepared by the observers.
“It is balanced and acknowledges good policing which facilitated peaceful assemblies in Johor Baru, Kuantan, Malacca and Ipoh and observations of unruly and violent behaviour on the part of some of the participants,” he said.
While insisting that the final report and the resolutions passed at the extraordinary general meeting last Friday were of the Bar and not just the Bar Council, Lim still hoped that the ministers would allow them to explain the report and engage with them.
“The Malaysian Bar has consistently spoken against any violation of human rights and failure to uphold the rule of law such as the 1988 judicial crisis, the 1998 police brutality during the crackdowns against the reformasi movement, and the Walk for Justice,” he said.
He also said the Bar Council could not be simply dissolved as suggested by Nazri, although members could always propose motions of no-confidence against the council members, which had happened in the past but were defeated.
Lim also said any Bar member had the right to set up his own association of lawyers, citing examples of the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association and the Catholic Lawyers Society.
“However, only the Bar Council is empowered under the Act to set the standards, regulate and issue practising certificates,” he said.
Council member and the Bar’s constitutional law committee chairman Syahredzan Johan also criticised Nazri, saying his call for the dissolution of the council was a political statement.
“The minister is well aware that the Malaysian Bar and the Bar Council were created by an Act of Parliament. The Bar cannot dissolve itself into anything.
“This is a political statement and one which I do not think anyone should entertain.”
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