Malaysian Bar AGM hits a major bump

No show: Tan’s picture on his Facebook post showing an almost empty room.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar 2023 annual general meeting (AGM) hit a snag yesterday morning when it had to reconvene after there was no quorum for the first round, forcing members to re-register.

Lawyers who attended and did the first registration round were given blue wristbands.

Those who registered in the second round were given the orange wristbands with the words “Malaysian Bar AGM (Reconvened)” on them.

Malaysian Bar members posted pleas on social media for fellow lawyers to quickly fill up seats.

Should the Malaysian Bar fail to hold its AGM, it will face the possibility of deregistration by the Registrar of Societies.

In an Instagram post, lawyer Siti Kasim ranted at how the Bar has thousands of members nationwide “who did not bother to come”.

“I am at the Malaysian Bar AGM. You see, we have two bracelets. The first one is this – unfortunately, we did not have enough quorum and then we had to register again.

“I want to tell these... lawyers who did not even bother to come to the AGM, which is only once a year, where are you all?

“We only need 500 members to make quorum. You don’t have a right to make any complaints against the Bar as you did not even come for the AGM.”

Another Malaysian Bar member, Datuk Roger Tan, posted on social media photos of empty chairs at the AGM to show how poorly attended it was. “No quorum at the AGM of Malaysian Bar as at 11.40am,” he posted.

Lawyer Terence Teng pleaded on social media for fellow Bar members to attend to make quorum.

“First time encountered this – quorum failure for Malaysian Bar AGM. Fellow brothers and sisters of the Bar, need your kind attendance,” he posted.

However, an hour later, lawyer Andrew Khoo stated that the AGM had begun and they paid their respects to members who have passed away.

“As is the practice, we started the AGM of the Malaysian Bar by observing a time of silence in memory of departed members. For the first time, I believe, we recalled 60 members who had left us in the past year, including Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and Sa’adiah Din, both of whom I knew,” posted Khoo.

This is not the first time the Malaysian Bar AGM did not have enough quorum.

In 2020, all the 12 motions proposed for the Malaysian Bar’s 74th AGM were withdrawn as only 87 of its almost 20,000 members turned up for the meeting following concerns over Covid-19.

Editor's note: The Malaysian Bar Council has clarified several details mentioned in this story here.

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