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A-G to be Bar Council president, suggests MP

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 01:20 AM PDT

A lawmaker caused a stir in the Dewan Rakyat when he proposed that the Attorney-General be appointed Bar Council president.

Datuk Datu Nasrun Datu Mansur (BN-Silam) said it is high time that the Bar Council "move forward".

"The Bar Council must be independent and impartial.

"It is time that we move forward and I proposed that the Attorney-General be automatically appointed Bar Council president," he said when debating the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2015 on Wednesday.

He lamented that the Bar Council had diverted from the original objective of looking after the welfare of lawyers.

"The Bar Council must come back to its original objective: it was formed to look after the welfare of lawyers.

"It should not get involved in politics as it is inappropriate," he said.

He added that the Bar Council should refrain from making statements against the laws of the country because it would affect its integrity in the eyes of the rakyat.

He cited the Singapore Law Society, which is not allowed to comment or give its views on laws in the republic unless requested by the Government.

In response, M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) defended the Bar Council as having the right to uphold justice without fear or favour by expressing its views on various issues.

While welcoming Datu Nasrun's proposal, Kulasegaran said it had been mooted before but unsuccessfully.

"A similar proposal was made 10 to 15 years ago in a move control the Bar Council.

"However, the Attorney-General shied away and did not want the post as it was subject to public scrutiny," he said.

A war of words erupted between Kulasegaran and Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjung Karang) when the latter questioned the Bar Council's election process and the lack of Malay representation in the committee.

"The election process is questionable and an independent body should be appointed to conduct it," he said.

Noh also questioned why there was lack of Malay lawyers in the committee although 60% of some 16,000 registered lawyers are Malays.

Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Zahari (BN-Setiawangsa) asked if there should be a qouta for the committee.

Kulasegaran defended the Bar Council's election process, saying it is based on merit.

"The Bar is not the Malay civil service," he said.

Najib To Send Letter Of Demand To Rafizi Over Textile Allegation

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 12:45 AM PDT

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is to send a letter of demand to Mohd Rafizi Ramli seeking an apology and withdrawal of an allegation that the Prime Minister misused funds from the Goods and Services Tax over the purchase of textile.

This was conveyed to reporters today by lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun after the case management of the libel suit filed by Najib against former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik in chambers before High Court Judge Datuk John Louis O'Hara.

Mohd Hafarizam said he received instructions from Najib yesterday to draw up and send the letter as soon as possible to the PKR vice-president.

Mohd Rafizi, who is also PKR secretary-general, made the alleged statement at a gathering calling for the abolition of the GST at Dataran Merdeka here on April 2.

Mohd Hafarizam also said that Najib's suit against Dr Ling would be heard before another judge as O'Hara today recused himself from the case to avert misperception as he and Dr Ling were alumni of the Royal Military College and were members of the Old Putera Association.

He said he and Dr Ling's lawyer Villie Nethi did not object to the decision by O'Hara.

"The case will now be heard before High Court Judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin but a date for mention has not been set yet," said Mohd Hafarizam.

Najib had filed the suit against Dr Ling on Oct 27 last year over alleged defamatory remarks made against him while attending a ceremony at a university college that were published in an article on a news portal on Oct 3.

In his statement of claim, Najib, among others, sought an order for Dr Ling to publish a written apology to be published in newspapers or magazines to be identified by Najib, in a form and terms determined by him.

Najib also sought an injunction to restrain Dr Ling, or through his servants or agents, from further speaking or publishing any defamatory article or any similar words defamatory to him.

He also sought general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Najib said the plain and ordinary meaning of the words published in the article were understood to mean, among others, that he had misappropriated public funds into his personal account, that he had misused the funds for his personal interest, and he had misused the funds to gain wealth and profit for his personal gain and interest.

He also said that the plain and ordinary meaning of the words published in the article were understood to mean, among others, that he had misused government funds belonging to a government investment company, 1MDB, for his personal interests, he had abused his power as the leader of a political party and also the leader of people, and he was not competent or qualified to be the leader of the government or prime minister of Malaysia.

Azalina: Rafizi's arrest in accordance with the law

Posted: 06 Apr 2016 12:10 AM PDT

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli was arrested in accordance with the law, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said Rafizi's arrest was made in accordance with Section 15 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

She added that in her opinion, Section 7 of the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952 (which provides that MPs are not liable to civil or criminal proceedings for anything said before the House) did not give immunity to parliamentarians who committed a crime.

"I believe that the police have their own justifications on why they arrested him at that location," Azalina said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Pandan MP was arrested on Tuesday under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to facilitate investigations over claims he made against the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT).
Rafizi was arrested in front of Parliament as he was leaving Parliament House.

He was taken to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

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