Case against Malaysian Bar thrown out


KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has struck out a claim by a lawyer challenging the legality of a notice for the Malaysian Bar’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Justice John Louis O’Hara held that the claim against the Malaysian Bar and Bar Council by Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz was obviously unsustainable.

“He can speak for himself and not others. It is not a representative action,” Justice O’Hara ruled with regard to legal rights.

On the issue of the notice not being in the Malay language, Justice O’Hara said the Malaysian Bar and Bar Council did not fall under the definition of public authority as stipulated in the Federal Constitution.

He said Mohd Khairul’s assertion that the Malaysian Bar and Bar Council are public authorities was without basis, frivolous, vexatious and scandalous.

“The Bar Council and Malaysian Bar are statutory bodies exercising powers to its members and not to the public at large,” he said.

Justice O’Hara said Mohd Khairul’s claim that it is his statutory right to receive notices and motions for the EGM by post is contrary to Section 138 of the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976.

He said that the provision under the LPA did not preclude for services by other means such as by sending its circular by e-mail and uploading it on Malaysian Bar’s website to inform its members.

Justice O’Hara said the claim did not disclose any reasonable cause of action and was an abuse of the court process.

Speaking to reporters later, Mohd Khairul’s co-counsel Shaharudin Ali said that the judge did not make any order as to costs after his client undertook not to appeal.

In the test case, Mohd Khairul claimed that a notice for the Malaysian Bar EGM issued on May 4 last year was invalid and against the LPA.

In his original claim, he named the Malaysian Bar, Bar Council, its former chairman Lim Chee Wee and its former secretary Tony Woon Yeow Thong as defendants.

Mohd Khairul later decided to proceed with the suit against the Bar Council and Malaysian Bar only.

In his claim, Mohd Khairul said that at about 1.05pm on May 4 last year, Woon had uploaded a circular on the Malaysian Bar website stating that an EGM would be held at a hotel here at 3pm on May 11.

He said Woon’s action of doing so on the website was an incomplete presentation and not according to the law.

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