Lex Petros: EGM of the Malaysian Bar

Thursday, November 16, 2006

EGM of the Malaysian Bar

There you have it! The 'no confidence' motion* of fellow advocate & solicitor, Dato' M.S. Murthi defeated by an overwhelming majority. It was reported on the Malaysian Bar website that, "2,496 members turned up for the EGM even though the required quorum was 500. When the vote was taken at about 7.00pm, 1,042 voted against the motion and 182 for it, with 57 abstentions."

*inter alia, that the members of the Malaysian Bar have no confidence in the Office Bearers of the current Bar continue to lead, represent the interest and manage the affairs of the Malaysian Bar and for their misconduct in actively working against the interest of the members of the Malaysian Bar with regard to 2006 amendments to the Legal Profession Act, 1976

I was surprised that there were still dissidents voting for the motion. Not even sure if they knew what they were voting for, but then again, democracy in motion at the very least.

For me, apart from a duty which I consider solemn to ensure that the 'no confidence' motion does not go through (for reasons known to me), I really enjoyed the debates in the floor. Among the highlights were Ranjit Singh's describing Murthi's speech as "incredulous" and Chew Swee Yoke's adoption of Forrest Gump's "Stupid as Stupid Does" really cracked me up. But I was impressed with Dato' VC George (former High Court judge) gravitas; he properly summed up what was in my mind, a very apt analogy; that the Council should not be made to be 'crawling on our bellies' when the Council was dealing with the de facto Minister of Justice and the AG, when he referred to the motion by Murthi and accusations by various Members of the floor of the Council's alleged nonchalance of not doing enough to delay the enforcement of the amendments to the LPA 1976... Not to mention Karpal Singh's appearance at the EGM after taking time off from Parliament to make his say...that...I gotta respect...something to think about: judicial review might be gone, but due process is present in alternatives... basically, question beckons : DO YOU TRUST A TRIBUNAL OR DO YOU TRUST THE COURTS?

All said and done, I thing Yeo Yang Poh (Chairman of the Bar Council) did manage to control and manage this EGM slightly better than the last EGM held on 18th of August 2006. Granted... the motion was debated upon for 3 hours , but at the end of the day, I observed a 'swifter strike' of the Chairman's ' sword' during this meeting.

Still, too many points of order and various accusations raised, leading to more defences and more response warranted, something we can do about for the AGM to take place not too far away. Proper 'housekeeping' is much desired, I think.

All I can say it that we belong to an institution governing us lawyers, borne out of statute, by Parliament, the very body which can take away that right in an, unite we must, but tempt the lioness, we shan't..

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