Malaysia

Nazri says government agrees with proposal for a new legal body

KUALA KANGSAR, May 12 — Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has revealed today the government’s agreement to the formation of a new organisation for lawyers. According to the Bernama Online report, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department has stated that the idea for a new organisation was mooted by a group of lawyers to represent their profession, welfare, and legal interests.

While the Bar Council represents lawyers who are practicing the law, the proposed new organisation will not limit its membership to practising lawyers only, but extend to those who have qualification in law such as lecturers.

Datuk Seri Nazri (picture) also took a swipe at the Bar Council sighting complains he has received from the Council’s members against the Council’s failure to protect their interests, and for allegations of fraudulent practices. The Minister stressed that the Bar Council should refrain from involving itself in politics: “I have said that if the Bar Council wants to be involved in politics, please register as a political party and the problem of the body would not have arisen. It has 20,000 members and only 1,270 attended (yesterday’s extraordinary general meeting). It did not represent the majority voice of the lawyers.” He added that elections organised by the Bar Council are  monopolised by some members and are not systematic. The Bar Council elections are carried out through a postal voting system.

Nazri dismissed the Bar Council’s demand for an apology from the Home Minister and the Inspector-General of Police for the alleged police brutality during the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur on April 28. The demand was made in the Council’s extraordinary general meeting yesterday which also resulted in 12 resolutions being passed. 

The Minister told reporters that the government is carrying out its own investigation of the Bersih 3.0 organiser, Datuk S. Ambiga over any misconduct or contempt of court under the under the Peaceful Assembly 2011 Act.

On the withdrawal of the Election Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, he said the move was taken with the agreement of the Election Commission, the government and the opposition in which all parties concurred the amendment process would be complicated. On April 19, the Dewan Rakyat passed the bill after it was debated by members of Parliament for seven hours.

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