Bar Council to hold EGM over allegations of judicial intimidation

PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council will hold an emergency general meeting (EGM) to discuss the issue over recent allegations of judicial intimidation.

Bar Council president Karen Cheah said the full details of the EGM will be finalised after the Hari Raya festive period.

“The required statutory EGM notice will be issued to all members of the Bar accordingly by Thursday (May 5),” said Cheah in a statement on Wednesday night (May 4).

“We hope to see the attendance of members of the Bar across the nation, including our past presidents, to express their thoughts on the issue and to vote on motions that would be significant to the future of our judiciary as an indispensable and crucial institution,” she added.

Cheah also said she is aware of the petition calling for the “Walk of Justice” by former Malaysian Bar presidents.

“As a matter of record, the Bar Council has been putting in all its efforts to discuss the matter, even prior to such a petition,” she said, adding that a press statement was already issued on the matter on April 25.

Cheah said the Bar Council held another emergency meeting on April 29 to address allegations of judicial intimidation and it was collectively decided that an EGM will be called on an urgent basis according to the Legal Profession Act 1976.

“The upcoming EGM will discuss the possible options available to the Malaysian Bar, as well as to ventilate and debate on motions tabled by the Bar Council, as well as any other motions which we may receive seven days prior to the EGM by members of the Bar,” Cheah added.

Earlier Wednesday (May 4), a petition by six former Malaysian Bar presidents – Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, Steven Thiru, Datuk Lim Chee Wee, Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari – had urged the Bar Council to hold the “Walk of Justice”.

It was meant to defend the judiciary against alleged intimidation.

The petition was posted in a Google Docs format and it was disseminated among the legal fraternity where official members of the Malaysian Bar can leave their full name and Bar Council membership number as sign of support.

It came following the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigations into Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.

This followed claims by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, alleging that there were funds transferred to Mohd Nazlan’s account during his time as the group general counsel and company secretary of Maybank.

MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki had said the probe was launched due to a report lodged over the issue.

Mohd Nazlan was the judge who convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the misappropriation of RM42mil of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds.

Mohd Nazlan lodged a police report against Raja Petra on April 21, denying the accusations which he said were malicious, baseless and aimed at tarnishing his credibility as a judge.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, in her speech at a recent swearing-in ceremony of newly-appointed High Court judges, said the recent public disapproval against high profile cases had “gone overboard”.