ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION
Motion by Charles Hector & Santhi Supramaniam
Passed at the AGM of the Malaysian Bar on 22 October 2005
WHEREAS some private companies, banks and establishments have a practice that law firms will not be generally retained by the said institutions unless there is compliance with certain ethnic/racial quota requirements with regard the composition of the partners, lawyers in the firm or employees in the firm.
WHEREAS these discriminatory practices have no basis in law by reason that there are at present NO Act, Regulation, Rules and/or any other subsidiary legislation that permits such discriminatory practices in Malaysia.
WHEREAS these practices are discriminatory in nature, and goes against the universal principles of Human Rights and also Malaysia’s constitutionally guaranteed rights as provided for amongst others in the Federal Constitution.
WHEREAS these discriminatory practices goes against the universally recognised and acknowledged inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and more specifically spelt out in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
WHEREAS these discriminatory practices goes against the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, where in Clause III (c) it is clearly stated that “No person shall be denied the opportunity to work or be discriminated against in any manner or exposed to greater physical risk by reason of religious belief, colour, race, origin, sex or language.”
IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED:-
a) That the Malaysian Bar acknowledges the inherent dignity and equality of all human persons irrespective of ethnicity, race, religious belief, colour, gender or language;
b) That the Malaysian Bar shall actively take whatsoever necessary steps with the object of ending any/all forms of discriminatory practices;
c) That the Bar Council shall cause to compile a list of institutions/firms which takes into consideration racial/ethnic quotas of law firms before considering to retain a particular law firm or a particular lawyer, and shall thereafter take the necessary and appropriate action against such institutions who practice and/or propagate such discriminatory practices;
d) That the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.