Motions passed by Malaysian Bar Council

This is a summary of four motions passed by the Malaysian Bar Council at a special meeting on Saturday following the arrest of ousted deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim on September 20:

First motion

The Malaysian bar, in discharge of its statutory duties under section 42 (1) (a) of the legal profession act 1976 to uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interest or that of its members uninfluenced by fear or favour,

-- views with grave concern the detention of numerous persons under the Internal Security Act and recent legal developments in connection thereof.

-- reaffirms that the ISA is an obnoxious piece of legislation undermining fundamental human rights, basic democractic principles and the rule of law.

-- calls for all persons detained under the ISA either to be released or charged expeditiously in court under the relevant laws so that the principles of the rule of law and the right to fair trial and justive shall prevail.

-- demands that all members of the bar who are acting in the defence of their clients be allowed to carry out their duties freely without any harassment, hindrance or restraint by authorities.

Second motion

The Malaysian bar calls on the government

1. (a) to respect and abide by the rule of law, federal constitution and principles of natural justice.

(b) to respect, uphold and give full effect to the constitutional rights of the freedom of movement, peaceful assembly, association, speech and expression for all persons.

2. The Malaysian bar calls on the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary to abide by and maintain the separation of powers as envisaged in the federal constitution;

3. The Malaysian bar calls upon the attorney general

(a) to play his proper role as befits the guardian of public interest

(b) to ensure that the system of justice is preserved by taking stern action against any person who resorts to trial by the media

(c) to act without fear or favor

(d) to have as his principal concern to maintain the rule of law so that there will be no anarchy;

(e) to maintain standards in public life and in the private sector

4. The Malaysian bar condemns the continued use of the oppressive Internal Security Act 1960 and calls for

(a) the immediate repeal of the Internal Security Act

(b) the immediate release of all persons detained under the Internal Security Act and if warranted for such persons to be charged and tried in a court of law.

5. The Malaysian bar condemns the denial by relevant authorities of persons detained under the Internal Security Act to legal consultation of their choice.

6. The Malaysian bar condemns the harassment of members of the legal profession in the performance of their duties by the police.

7. The Malaysian bar condemns any unnecessary and excessive use of force by the police in the performance of their duties and calls upon the police to at all times exercise due restraint in the exercise of their powers.

8. The Malaysian bar condemns the undesirable and despicable practice of trial by media and calls upon the media to maintain its proper and responsible role.

9. The bar council shall forthwith take such steps as are necessary to give effect to the above resolutions and the bar council should henceforth take immediate action with respect to matters as and when they arise consistent with the duties of the Malaysian bar.

Third motion

The Malaysian bar notes with grave concern the recent complaints of assault in custody made by Anwar Ibrahim, Tien Chua and other persons arrested in connection with recent publuc assemblies.

The Malaysian bar does not consider the setting up of a police investigation committee an appropriate measure to be adopted to deal with such complaints of police brutality.

The Malysian bar calls on the government to set up an independent royal commission of enquiry consisting of reputable persons of unquestionable integrity to inevestigate all written complaints of police brutality. The commission will make public all its reports and recommendations.

Fourth motion

1. The Malaysian bar hereby adopts the position that all laws providing for arrest and detention wihthout trial and for the imposiing of restrictions and conditions without trial are contrary to the rule of law, international human rights standards and established religious values and norms.

2. The Malaysian bar calls for

(a) the repeal of all laws that allow for detention without trial in particular the Internal Security Act 1960, the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969, the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 and the Restricted Resident Enactment 1933.

(b) the immediate and unconditional release of all persons arrested and detained under the first three legislations mentioned above;

(c) the immediate removal and/or revocation of all orders imposing restrictions and conditions under the abovementioned legislation on all persons with regard to expression, association and movement without trial.