PETALING JAYA, 8 May 2009: The Malaysian Bar will be holding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 15 or 16 May next week to protest against the arrest of lawyers trying to represent their clients.
Bar Council chairperson Ragunath Kesavan said the EGM would propose a motion calling for the rule of law to be respected.
“We want to send a strong message that what is happening undermines the criminal justice system,” he said in a phone interview today.
The motion, he added, would also call for the police to be above partisan politics.
Last night five lawyers – Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Anuar, Puspawati Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Safwan – were arrested at the Brickfields police station.
They had gone to the police station to assist those who had been arrested earlier for gathering to show support for academic, activist and The Nut Graph columnist Wong Chin Huat.
Wong was arrested for sedition on 5 May and remanded for three days. He is expected to be released at 3pm today.
Last night, police arrested 20 people including the five lawyers for holding a candlelight vigil for Wong. On 6 May, the police similarly arrested 14 people who had also held a candlelight vigil at the station for Wong.
This morning, about 200 lawyers, including senior lawyers, gathered at the lobby of the Jalan Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur in protest against their colleagues’ arrest.
Do the police care about EGMs? They don’t give a damn about rule of law. Why should we allow the police ‘to arrest and investigate’ when it should be other way round? Can they go any lower?
The laws are obviously not respected by those who wrote as well as those who enforce them. It is they who ought to languish behind bars. The constitution, written with such promise and hope is but a tool to be moulded as they see fit. The coming elections will see my vote going to the opposition as should all who have been failed by the ruling government.