Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bar Council's Rat-A-Tat-Tat

 Hantu Laut

There is no legalese (legal jargon) about the Bar Council pummeling the government. Plain and simple, dirty politics, it's taking side in the politics of this country.

Siding with the opposition Pakatan Rakyat to inflict maximum collateral damage on the government, Prime Minister Najib Razak and the ruling party.

Has the Bar Council ever disparaged or condemn PAS dared intention to implement hudud in the country or Anwar Ibrahim antipathetic participation in Bersih 3 and his suspected role in causing chaos and mayhem on the streets of Kuala Lumpur ?

Its former president is now actively involved in mob culture, organising street's protests, rally, march, sit-in and collusion with the oppositions to bring down a legally elected government.

Read on:

Bar Council Tiptoeing Into Politics

The council may deny this and hee-haw its way to explain itself. Yet, if its members were to take a step back, see what they did from an arm’s length, maybe they would not be too surprised that some people could get uncomfortable with its partisanship, especially in the current heightened political environment.

Zainul Ariffin, New Straits Times

IT has been a month since the Bersih 3.0  rally and it must be said that not many came out of the situation unscathed. The government, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, police, ministers, the media, Bersih organisers, politicians of all persuasions and ideologies and  participants share blame for one thing or another.

Joining the list, days later, would be the Bar Council, following its haste in calling an extraordinary general meeting that by and large, to a layman unfamiliar with the ifs and buts of legalese, was a condemnation of, among others, the government and the police for the chaos and violence that followed.

In these days of cyber activism, there are videos of all kinds, promoting this or that side, each exposing transgressions by “the other guy”. It was not a day all of us can be proud of.

Hence, I do not believe the government and the police deserved to be singled out by the Bar Council.

Clearly, no side is blameless,  yet the council seemed to abhor the idea of criticising the guys in yellow, portraying them as innocent weekend democracy advocates bullied by cops ordered to terrorise.

The Bersih 3.0 rally was an event waiting to be hijacked. I am sure the organisers, who are not naive, knew it. While many were out for their constitutional walk, a few of the many thousands who gathered came with the idea of promoting their politics and causes, if not mischief and mayhem.

Thus, I think, the council’s leaders should not be too surprised if some would describe the Bar as partisan in this issue. Its  EGM and resolution blaming the post-rally messiness on the government clearly indicated the position it had carved for itself in the national political landscape.

Having said so, there are several philosophical questions that need answering. Should the Bar Council be neutral, anyway? What is its role in civil society? Or should it not try to keep its house in order first, for instance, by ridding the profession of crooked lawyers and such?

Now, this being a democratic country, the council is free to support anyone, or adopt any position. I suppose it just needs to be clear about it.

Nevertheless, it is the expectation of many that when the council discussed the Bersih incident, it would look at it in totality.  I understand the greater agenda of democracy, but for a layman like me, it should at least be seen to be an honest broker in this issue.  Maybe we are being a little naive.

It admonished the government and the police, and demanded apologies for indiscriminate and excessive use of force. Yet, it only dealt in passing with the violence by some protesters. Read more.

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