Friday, 19 September 2008

Do more than just pass a Resolution

The Bar will have its EGM on the recent ISA arrests on 20th September 2008. I wish to present some views and proposals to the Bar Council.

1. Perhaps it is time to bring the Motion to the United Nations. I am not familiar how UN works, but it would be ideal if Dato Ambiga can address the UN, on the draconian nature of ISA, and how it is constantly abused by the Government and/or Police.

We can raise funds to purchase the flight ticket for Ambiga to fly to New York. If Council wish to do this, I am ready to help raise funds to purchase the air ticket.

If not UN, we can consider handing the Motion to UNHCR.. Like I said, I am not familiar with UN, but we can work out something to carry the Motion internationally. We should get external pressure to cause change particularly to abolish ISA. I am however against engaging other specific countries, like the USA. Only neutral bodies like UN or ASEAN should be approached.

2. We have to engage Lawasia and IBA to voice their condemnation of ISA.

3. Every State Bar Should organise a Forum each, to educate the public about ISA particularly Section 73 of the same Act. We as Lawyers must explain to the public why we take such a stand against ISA and try persuade more people to agree with our views.

Again, if Council is willing to do this, I can offer assistance to help organise the Forum. At KL Bar we can kick start this Forum, subject to agreement to my fellow colleagues at KLBC.

4. Of course, we can do the usual engaging with the Government on this etc etc. We have been doing this for many years already. Anyway, my theme here is that we must do something more than just pass a Resolution. We have a 1987 Resolution on ISA. At KL Bar AGM 7 months ago. KL Bar also passed a Motion condemning ISA arrest, particularly of our lawyers, members of HINDRAF.

So what, if we pass a Motion; but it does not get sufficient exposure. As per Section 42 of the LPA, particularly:-  

1. Section 42 (1) (a) to uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interest ot that of its member, uninfluenced by fear or favour;  

2. Section 42 (1) (g) to protect and assist the public in all matters touching ancillary or incidental to the law.  

... the Bar must carry out its purpose to uphold the cause of justice and merely passing the Motion tomorrow, in my view would not suffice.

As I will be away during the EGM tomorrow - I am placing my comments and views here.

Thank you.

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