KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — The Malaysian Bar today did not mince its words about a lawyer’s purported action of suggesting that court decisions can be influenced, saying that this would be a misconduct if the lawyer was proven to actually have made such suggestions.
Malaysian Bar president AG Kalidas cited a June 15 news report by portal Free Malaysia Today, where the Chief Justice’s Office was reported to have lodged a police report on June 7 against a senior lawyer for allegedly bringing the judiciary into disrepute.
Free Malaysia Today had cited sources in saying that the lawyer had allegedly sent a few text messages to a client in relation to two cases pending in court.
Saying that the Malaysian Bar was deeply troubled by such news, Kalidas said such “purported conduct as reported is disgraceful and unbecoming of a member of the legal community”.
“The Malaysian Bar does not tolerate such unscrupulous and unethical behaviour, which will inevitably tarnish the good name of the profession,” he said in a statement today.
“We take matters pertaining to the integrity of our Members with utmost seriousness. We do not condone such actions; and if it is indeed proven to be true, it is considered a misconduct,” he added.
He said such a practice as reported in the news report sullies the good name of the entire legal profession and also erodes the public’s confidence in them as those who uphold law and justice.
Kalidas however assured the public that complaints of professional misconduct can be made against lawyers through the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board (ASDB), which is tasked with investigating such complaints.
The ASDB ― which was established in 1992 and is independent of the Malaysian Bar ― has the power to impose penalties on lawyers found guilty of misconduct, including reprimanding or censuring them, fining them up to RM50,000, suspending them as a lawyer for up to five years, or having them struck off the roll or barring them from practising as a lawyer.
Kalidas today said the Malaysian Bar leaves it to the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
“We are ready to assist the police, if necessary, to defend the dignity and integrity of the legal profession. We are committed to ensuring that our justice system is impervious to all undue influence and answerable only to the rule of law,” he said.