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Saturday, October 22, 2005

ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION (Bar Resolution 22/10/2005)

The 59th AGM of the Malaysian Bar held at Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - Saturday, 22 October 2005

Motion by Charles Hector & Santhi Supramaniam

Motion on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination

ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION

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 Article of 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 condemns all/any institutions and/or persons who uses, practices, propagates and/or encourages any form discrimination;

c) That the Malaysian Bar shall actively take whatsoever necessary steps with the object of ending any/all forms of discriminatory practices;

d) That the Bar Council shall cause to comply 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;

e) That the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Paragraph (b) of the motion is to be deleted. The motion was unanimously carried.

An Ad-Hoc Committee under the Chairmanship of Charles Hector was appointed for follow up action.