The 55th AGM of the Malaysian Bar held at the Renaissance Hotel,
1. The Malaysian Bar has during its past Annual General Meetings and/or Extraordinary General Meetings passed many resolutions of great importance, amongst others
a) The call for the recognition of the rights to ONE PHONE CALL to all suspects arrested by the police in Malaysia;
b) The call for the recognition of the right of access to lawyer upon arrest;
c) The call that Magistrates, Sessions Court Judges and Senior Assistant Registrars be
made more independent, by amongst others removing them from being under the Judicial and Legal Services Commission;
c) The removal of the seven-year ruling in the Legal Profession Act 1976, that now prevents lawyers below seven years standing from even nominating and standing for elections in the Bar Council and/or the State Bar Committees, and also sitting as equal members of the various committees of the Bar Council and the State Bar Committees.
2. After these resolutions are considered and passed, unfortunately other than receiving minimum and edited coverage in media, it is noted that nothing seems to be done to publicise the said resolutions and/or take steps to give full effect to these resolutions of the Malaysian Bar.
3. There has also been a lack of reporting by the Bar Council, both past and present, as to the steps taken to give effect to these resolutions of past.
4. There is also a lack of documentation of these resolutions, hence leading to a lack of dissemination of the position and stance of the Malaysian Bar with regard to various issues of concern – the effect being that newer members of the Bar are left “blind” about the position of the Bar on these important issues of concern. The history, tradition and positions of the Bar should be proactively handed down to the newer members of the Bar.
5. The Malaysian Bar should be proactive in publicising all resolutions in full, especially those of national importance, in the mass media and if need by advertising. As part of the campaign, the Bar Council should also go to the people and disseminate these resolutions, if need be in the different popular languages of the nation.
6. The Malaysian Bar should also be proactive in forwarding relevant resolutions to all members of the legislative, judiciary and executive and not merely forwarding the same to certain individuals in their capacity of being the heads of these institutions. If need be, the Bar Council should also prepare and forward draft Bills, as was done for contempt, in an effort to realise the resolutions of the Malaysian Bar.
7. The members of the Malaysian Bar number about 10,000 and if tasks are distributed amongst a greater number, then it will be more effective. At present, it is most disappointing to note that many of the members of the Bar Council have assumed leadership roles in many different committees and sub-committees, and this practice should be stopped as we have more than enough resources in our Bar. A Bar Councillor at most should only head one committee, if at all – he can always be an ex-officio.
IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED:-
A. That the Bar Council immediately act on all past resolutions of the Malaysian Bar, whichever is still applicable and relevant by giving a detailed report as to what has been done since the said Resolutions were passed, and publishing the said report through a special report or through its newsletter within three (3) months;
B. That the Bar Council immediately take steps to realise or give effect to all the Resolutions of the Malaysian Bar, especially the doing away with the seven-year ruling, the abolishment of Detention Without Trial Laws, the recognition of the right to One Phone Call and access to a lawyer for all persons arrested, amongst others by the setting up of special task forces or rapid action teams for each and every resolution, who shall be empowered to come up with plans, implement these plans and do all that is necessary to give full effect to the resolutions of the Malaysian Bar, whereby the setting up of these task forces should be done within two (2) months; and
C. That the Bar Council immediately take steps to compile and publish all past resolutions of the Malaysian Bar, and thereafter distribute the same to all present and future members of the Bar.
Proposer: En. Charles Hector
Seconder: En. Amin Hafiz
The Motion was unanimously passed.