|Bar president: Lawyers can propose no-confidence vote|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2012 01:45pm|
©Malay Mail (Used by permission)
by Meena Lakshana
PETALING JAYA: Lawyers who are dissatisfied with the leadership of the Bar Council can propose motions of no-confidence against the council members, Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said yesterday.
Responding to views from several Bar Council members who opposed the resolution passed during the council's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) last Friday on the Bersih 3.0 rally, Lim said members had the prerogative to set up "an association of lawyers", as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
"The Bar Council cannot be dissolved and if there is any dissatisfaction about the leadership, members can propose a motion of no-confidence against the council members, which has happened in the past but was defeated," he told The Malay Mail.
He said lawyers were welcome to set up a separate association to include non-practising lawyers but those setting it up should note that the Bar Council was still the main body governing lawyers in the country.
"It is in line with the Federal Constitution. That is why we have the Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association and the Catholic Lawyers Society," he said.
However, Lim said only the Bar Council was empowered under the Legal Profession Act 1967 to set the standards, regulate and issue practicing certificates.
It was reported that 16 out of 1,270 lawyers who attended the meeting voted against the resolution on the Bersih 3.0 rally, as it failed to address the role played by political leaders and the breach of the barricades at Dataran Merdeka.
The resolution, based on observations of the council's 81 members deployed to monitor the rally on April 28, objected to incidents of police brutality and condemned the excessive and indiscriminate use of tear gas and water canons on Bersih 3.0 participants.
The Bar also called for Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar to publicly apologise to the participants, media and lawyers who were assaulted or beaten by the police.
A total of 939 lawyers voted for the resolution, drawing a majority consensus on the decision of the Bar Council.
The call drew a terse response from Hishammuddin, who said the Bar Council was prejudiced in its resolutions and had "damaged its credibility and integrity" by rushing to vote on its interim report and the EGM.
The lawyers who opposed the resolution had opined that an alternative organisation for lawyers should be established, which Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had consented.
Nazri had also said the Bar Council's resolution only reflected a small number of lawyers in the Bar Council, not 20,000 of the council's members.
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