Threats don’t scare us, says Malaysian Bar

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar today said it was undeterred by threats or intimidation in its task to uphold justice, adding that it was bound to act without fear or favour, and without regard for its own interests.
Responding to a media report on Saturday in which the Muslim Lawyers Association had allegedly warned the Malaysian Bar not to back Christian publication The Herald in the Allah ruling, Bar president Christopher Leong said he was disappointed with the Muslim lawyers association.
“It is strange for an association of lawyers to fear arguments taken in a court of law and to impel them to issue threats. It leaves one to wonder what it is that they are afraid of,” he said in a statement.
He stressed that the Malaysian Bar did not back any party, and that access to justice was for all who seek it.
“The Malaysian Bar and the Bar Council are secular bodies. We are not grounded in or partial to any religious belief. The Malaysian Bar does not stand for or against any party.
“The positions that we take are, and will always be, prescribed by the rule of law and premised on the Federal Constitution.
“We act for justice and truth and will not be swayed by partisan politics or religious belief. The Malaysian Bar will not be deterred in upholding the cause of justice by any threat or intimidation,” he added.
He said that it was unfortunate that some deemed it appropriate to resort to issuing threats or fear mongering as a means of getting their way.
Sometimes these threats are coupled with claims of ignorance or confusion or cries of hurt feelings and sensitivities, he added.
He said it was long past the time for Malaysians to shed such practices.
He also said the Malaysian authorities should cease pandering to, or legitimising such practices, as it only served to encourage those who resort to threats or violence as a means of getting their way or silencing others.
Last month the Court of Appeal had over-ruled a High Court ruling which had allowed the Herald to use the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa Malaysia edition. Since the the Catholic Church, which is the publisher of the Herald, has decided to seek a review at the Federal Court.

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