The Bar Council today unanimously decided:
- To submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister and the Malaysian Cabinet next Wednesday, September 26 for the setting up of a royal commission to investigate the video clip.
- To convene an extraordinary general meeting of the Malaysian Bar at 3pm on Saturday, October 6 at the Legend Hotel here.
The Bar Council calls on EVERY member of the Bar to join members of the Bar Council in the march from the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya to the Prime Minister's office to hand over the memorandum.
All members of civil society, NGOs and NGIs are welcome to join the lawyers on the steps leading up to the Palace of Justice and to then proceed to the PM’s office.
FIVE buses have been chartered to ferry lawyers and those interested to join in the march from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya.
The buses will leave the Bar secretariat at 9.00 a.m.
Arrangement for the Save the Judiciary March (Sept. 26):
Members are requested to meet at the stairs of the Palace of Justice at 11am on Wednesday. Buses will also be chartered and will be at the Bar Council Secretariat at 9am that morning. The attire is Black and White with jacket.
(Map courtesy of sobnation blog)
From the President of the Malaysian Bar Council, Mdm. Ambiga Sreenevasan.
"...Yet again a crisis has emerged in the Judiciary.(The above courtesy of Malaysian Unplugged)
The rot and shaken confidence in the Judiciary began with the 1988 Judicial Crisis which involved the suspension of 6 Supreme Court Judges and the subsequent removal of 3 of them including the then Lord President.
Since then numerous other allegations have surfaced which have not been taken seriously.- For too long we have watched the confidence in the Judiciary wane.Malaysians cannot afford to stand by and watch any longer. The time has come for us to act decisively.
- For too long we have watched the judicial appointment process become unfathomable and shrouded in secrecy.
- For too long we have heard criticism after criticism about the Judiciary.
- For too long we have cried out for reform, but the authorities have not heeded our pleas.
The videotape raises at least the following questions:(1) How exactly were the appointments of Judges made at that time and since 1988, and what was the basis?These and many other questions raised by the video cry out for answers.
(2) Were appointments determined by outsiders to the process under the Constitution (involving e.g. businessmen or litigants), and how was this allowed?
(3) Who are the “key players” in the Judiciary referred to in the conversation?
(4) Who were the “soldiers” referred to in the conversation?
(5) Who were in the “other camp” referred to in the conversation?
(6) Who were the people who “fought for us”? Who is “us”? Who are “our friends”?
(7) What was the “private arrangement” referred to in the conversation?
(8) What was the 110% loyalty referring to?
(9) What was the nature of the relationships between the businessman, the lawyers, the politicians and members of the Judiciary?
It underscores the need for a Judicial Commission.
If there is no truth in the allegations or inferences arising out of the video, then the parties concerned must be vindicated.
If there is truth in the allegations (or in some of them), stern and appropriate action must follow.
Either way, silence, dismissal, lukewarm responses or lack of action are NOT options for the Government.
The response of the Chief Justice on Friday (21 September 2007) that he has no comment in response to the video clip is unacceptable but telling.
It is most disappointing to hear of official responses that seek to divert attention to the whistleblower, and threaten possible action against such person should the allegations turn out to be untrue.
To do so at this stage casts serious doubts on the willingness of the authorities to properly and impartially investigate the matter. It will instead be a case of shooting the messenger.- We have a duty to the public to act.Let us find out what really went on (and goes on) in the Judiciary.
- We have a duty to the many good, honest and hardworking judges, to act.
- We have a duty to the institution of the Judiciary to act.
- We have a duty to ourselves as Malaysians, and to civilised society, to say loudly that: enough is enough.
Let us not continue to be in a state of denial. .."
Several months ago, the Bar Council pledged to give support to bloggers should any be forthcoming. It is time now to reciprocate this magnanimous gesture. March with our good lawyers.