Former Bar Council president, prominent lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah passes away

PETALING JAYA: Prominent lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah passed away aged 77 on Monday (Dec 18).

In a short message sent out by his son, playwright and director Huzir Sulaiman, he said that his father's funeral rites will take place on Tuesday (Dec 19) at the Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz, Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya, at 1.10pm, following zohor prayers.

"I was present at his passing together with my wife Claire, as well his devoted personal assistant and caregiver Siti Nur Abdullah, supported by Muhammad Hamza, as well as family members and friends," said Huzir.

"Despite my father's many health challenges, particularly in the last decade, his sharp mind and dry wit remained unaffected. He continued to represent clients and serve on various committees and advisory panels," he added.

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Huzir then said that an online memorial service open to all will be organised in a few weeks.

"Should the legal community wish to organise a memorial, it would be welcomed," he added.

Sulaiman was the Malaysian Bar Council President from 1993 to 1995 and the president from 2000 to 2001; he was also a co-chair of the Pro Bono & Access to Justice Committee of International Bar Association between 2007 and 2009.

He has also represented state and federal Islamic bodies in recent years.

Sulaiman appeared for a religious council in the case of Lina Joy, who was born to a Malay Muslim couple but became a Christian at the age of 26. She had wanted the word “Islam” removed from her identity card.

He also represented the Terengganu Malay Customs and Islamic Religious Council in the Catholic Church’s application to review a judgment that prevented the weekly Herald from using the word “Allah” to refer to God, among others.

Sulaiman was also the lead counsel for former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin who wanted to reclaim his position following the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis.

Aside from this, Sulaiman was also the defense counsel in the the abuse of power and sexual misconduct cases of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the prosecution lawyer for the corruption case of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He had graduated with a law degree from the University of Singapore in 1969, later obtained a masters in law from University of London.

Sulaiman also holds a diploma in Syariah Law and Practice from International Islamic University Malaysia.

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