KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 - The Malaysian Bar said today the police have agreed to facilitate its proposed peaceful march to uphold judicial independence and to also condemn the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) recent controversial investigation into judge Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali happening this Friday.
The chairman of the umbrella body of lawyers Karen Cheah Yee Lynn said in a statement that the police have agreed to allow participants to gather at the Padang Merbok parking area but not to walk towards Parliament as it has planned.
"The Bar Council acknowledges the assistance of the police in helping to facilitate the gathering at Padang Merbok, but we do not agree that we are unable to proceed with the walk to Parliament and we shall be writing to and shall continue to engage the police in this regard,” she said.
Cheah added that the Malaysian Bar has also written to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob informing him of their plans to hand over a memorandum.
She said that the Prime Minister has informed them that Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Wira Mas Ermieyati Samsudin would be receiving the memorandum on behalf of the government.
She then called upon members and pupils of the Malaysian Bar to attend the walk and peacefully protest against MACC’s investigation of Justice Nazlan.
"I call upon all members and pupils in chambers to attend the Walk and peacefully protest against the impropriety and manner of the investigation commenced by the MACC against a Superior Court Judge.
"Let us rise together to demonstrate our resolve in this regard,” she said.
On May 27, the Malaysian Bar voted to hold a peaceful protest to uphold judicial independence and to also condemn MACC’s recent investigation into judge Nazlan.
Cheah said that an overwhelming majority of the lawyers who had attended the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) agreed to the peaceful protest.
The MACC on April 23 was reported confirming to local newspaper The Star that it had started its investigation on Mohd Nazlan, based on reports it said it had received.
Following criticisms such as by the Malaysian Bar and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) against its investigation, the MACC on April 28 insisted that it has the power to investigate public officers including judges.
The MACC had also explained that it had received three separate complaints on March 15, April 23 and April 27 on the matter involving Mohd Nazlan, and clarified that an investigation on any individual does not necessarily mean that the individual has committed an offence.
On May 21, the MACC announced that it had completed its investigations in a case involving Mohd Nazlan, and said it had presented on May 18 the investigation papers to the Attorney General’s Chambers for further study and direction.