Suit against Malaysian Bar chief, secretary thrown out
KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — The High Court today dismissed a lawyer’s bid to challenge Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee and secretary Tony Woon for holding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) condemning excessive police force against demonstrators at the chaotic April 28 rally for electoral reforms here.
Justice John Louis O’Hara made the order after Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz decided to drop his suit against the Bar Council’s top leaders, The Star reported.
But Mohd Khairul is still contesting the legality of the May 11 EGM and is going ahead with his suit against the Bar Council and the Malaysian Bar, the English-language daily reported.
Bernama had reported on June 13 that the Malaysian Bar and the Bar Council had filed to strike out the challenge.
Mohd Khairul had named the Bar Council as the first respondent while the Malaysian Bar, Lim and Woon were named the second to fourth respondents respectively.
In his statement of claim, Mohd Khairul contended that the notice calling for the EGM was issued less than seven days before May 11, adding that members of the council were not properly informed.
He asserted that Woon had issued a notice for the EGM on May 4, without mentioning whether the Bar Council had decided in their meeting previously to hold the EGM.
He added that the motion raised at the EGM also breached the Sedition Act 1948 as discussing the government’s extreme actions was beyond the legal scope of law regulating the profession.
Mohd Khairul said the members of the Malaysian Bar had been prejudiced through the motion and 14,189 members of the association had been placed in a scandalous situation through open discussion and their profession brought into ridicule.
The EGM had passed the motion with 939 votes in favour while 16 opposed and had asked the Inspector-General of Police and the Home Ministry to apologise for using excessive force on demonstrators and reporters covering the April 28 Bersih rally for clean elections ahead of national polls that must be called by next year.
Lim has come under fire from several ministers and certain groups of lawyers who question his impartiality in leading the regulating body for lawyers.
De facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has also revived an idea to set up a law academy as an alternative to the Malaysian Bar, which appears to have split the nation’s lawyers into two camps.