The Malaysian Bar recently came under fire for being a support of opposition activities and such. Hence, there were calls within the BN (Barisan Nasional) lawmakers to set up an Academy of Law which to some is perceived as an alternative Bar.
It was reported that the three independent Bars of Malaysia have voiced their opposition over the proposal to set up the Academy of Law by the government of Malaysia through legislation. They have called on the government to reconsider the move due to grave reservation and serious concern.
The 3 bodies are The Malaysian Bar, the Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Sabah Law Association, all of which represents the legal profession in their respective regions. In a joint statement released, they said that independence is the priority in the constitutional system of Malaysia and hence, there is a need for an independent Bar.
That would lay the foundation of justice which would be the ‘last bastion’ against any form of injustice to anyone and if that independence is somewhat diminished, it would mean that certain quarters are attempting a full frontal assault at its foundations. This would in result means that it is a frontal assault at the very nature of the rule of law in Malaysia.
Lim Chee Wee, the chairman of the Malaysian Bar, Kharil Azmi Mohd Hasbie and G B B Nandy, the presidents of the Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Sabah Law Association signed the joint statement and that there were no reasons given as to why the academy was even necessary in the first place.
On top of that, they also claimed that there are already current associations that exist under the Societies Act 1966 that reflected the function of the proposed academy like the Malaysian chapter of the Asean Law Association.