«THURSDAY 23RD FEBRUARY 2012 02:00 PM AUDITORIUM, WISMA MCA JALAN AMPANG, KUALA LUMPUR KUALA LUMPUR BAR COMMITTEE 2011/12 L to R (Front): Mary Tan ...»
7.3 Agnes introduced herself and said that she was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1994. She works mainly in the area of corporate conveyancing and also handles other commercial work. The only reason for seeking a place in the Committee was to represent lawyers who were not involved in litigation work as traditionally most of the members serving on the Committee were litigation lawyers.
7.4 Jeremiah introduced himself and said that he had been active at the KL Bar for the last few years mainly in some of the sub-committees and giving talks and conducting trainings for lawyers. He pointed out that Agnes was right as thus far he was the only non-litigation lawyer in the Committee. He handles mainly corporate work and a little banking and conveyancing work as well. Currently he is the Chair of the Professional Development Committee and he would like to continue serving in the KLBC.
7.5 Syahredzan said that first of all he would like to thank Richard Wee and Daniel Albert for proposing and seconding him. He had prepared a speech which was divided into three parts: who is he; what has he done before or what little has he done; and what he wants to do. He introduced himself and said that he is a partner in the firm of RamRais & Partners and in his fourth year of practice.
7.5.1 Moving on to what he had done, Syahredzan pointed out that he is currently the Deputy Chair of the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee (“ConstiLC”) and that members might know them as the organisers of the MyConstitution Campaign. He remarked that if members had not heard of the Campaign then the ConstiLC had not done enough.
He said that many launches had been held all over the country and there would be one coming up on 05.03.2011 at Pekan Brinchang which he hoped members could attend. He then proceeded to inform the House about his work at the Bar. He had served on the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee for two years and apart from the Bar Council work, he had also served on the KL Bar Young Lawyers Committee (“YLC”) under the leadership of Lai Chee Hoe, the MINUTES 6 ANNUAL REPORT 2011/12 • outgoing YLC Chair where many activities were held namely university visits, parliament visit, sports carnival, youth dialogue with a number of political parties and the latest being the candidate watch campaign for the Bar Council elections in which a set of questions was sent to the candidates standing for the elections. 18 out of the 26 candidates had reverted with their answers to the questions and he hoped that the rest would do so in due course.
7.5.2 As regards what he would want to do, Syahredzan said that basically he would want to work more closely with the Kuala Lumpur Bar on the MyConstitution Campaign. He pointed out that the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee had just launched the KL phase of the Campaign and there had to be a follow up to that. The Kuala Lumpur Bar is the biggest State Bar and there are many things that the Kuala Lumpur Bar could do with the Campaign. He would also want to continue serving on the KL Bar Young Lawyers Committee as he believed that there is still a lot more of things to be done. The good work that the outgoing YLC Chairperson, Lai Chee Hoe, had started off should be continued.
Further, as a litigation lawyer, he was junior enough to understand the problems at the Subordinate Courts and a bit experienced enough to know that there were problems at the higher Courts as well. He thus would want to help with trying to solve those problems. He believed that it would be a gradual process and hoped that members would give him an opportunity to be part of that process.
7.6 Baljit thanked his proposer and seconder for nominating him. He said that he had been involved with the Committee for the last few years. His focus would be the Criminal Practice Committee and prior to that, he had been an active member of the Bar including being active in the Legal Aid Centre namely in the Dock Brief programme. With that, he hoped to have members’ votes.
7.7 Jason Kong thanked Ravi Nekoo for nominating him and Por Yang Wei for seconding the nomination. He then introduced himself and said that he practises in the area of general litigation in the firm of Richard Tee & Co and as for his contributions to the Bar, he had been actively involved with the KL Legal Aid Centre. In 2010, he was appointed as the project head for the Dock Brief Programme and under his leadership, the Dock Brief Programme established a Dock Brief Committee to provide training to equip pupils who were undergoing pupillage with the necessary skills to conduct mitigation for the general public in the Magistrates’ Courts (Criminal Division). Besides the Dock Brief Programme, members may read his other involvement in pages 53 and 54 of the Annual Report where it was reported that the Project Head, Jason Kong was arrested by the Police on dubious grounds.
7.7.1 Jason Kong said that those were his contributions to the Bar and today, he had decided and looked forward to joining the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee to serve members on a larger scale. He would be pleased to be given the opportunity to work with the Committee and believed that together, they would be able to contribute towards the betterment of the Kuala Lumpur Bar.
7.8 At this stage, the Chairman received the results of the election of the KL Bar Representative to the Bar Council. He said that he would announce the results before inviting the remaining candidates to speak. He thanked the scrutineers
and announced the results as follows:
Dipendra Harshad Rai was declared elected as the KL Bar Representative to the Bar Council for the year 2011/12.
7.9 The Chairman said that before inviting the remaining candidates to speak, he would like to know if there were any further nominations. Pushpa Ratnam indicated that she would not be running for the election to the Committee. The
following member (the 13th candidate) was proposed and seconded:
7.10 nominations were closed. The Chairman then invited the remaining candidates to speak.
7.11 Khaizan introduced herself and said that she is known as Sherrie to her peers. She had served as the Chair of the Social, Arts and Culture Committee in the current term and would like to continue to serve in the same capacity in the incoming term if elected to the Committee. She hoped that members would support and vote for her.
7.13 Dee Wei said that first of all he would like to thank Himahlini and Foong Cheng Leong for proposing and seconding him. He then introduced himself and said that he was the outgoing Chair of the Pupils Welfare Committee and prior to that he was an active member of the Young Lawyers Committee. If given the opportunity, he would strive for the betterment of the Bar and do members proud.
7.14 Roger believed that he is the oldest person in the Committee. He had nothing to show because he was suffering from bad memories these days due to too much work. But briefly, he is currently the Co-Deputy Chair of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee and outgoing Chair of the KL Bar Environmental & Humanities Committee. He had been involved in open settlers’ poverty problems and done environmental and climate change work. He was rather hostile to the number of lights in this hall which was adding to the carbon emission and would be making a proposal to the incoming Committee, whether he is voted in or out, that there is a need to give thought to issues of this nature. Those were the little things that he had done and he believed that he could go a little further and it would be good if members would join him in his cause.
7.15 Poh Lim introduced himself as Kenneth and said that some members may know him as Poh Lim. He then thanked Lai Chee Hoe and Lee Shih for proposing and seconding him. He commented that unlike most of the candidates, he is a corporate lawyer. He had served on the Young Lawyers Committee and the Social, Arts & Culture Committee since his days as a pupil. He was not trying to pull in votes as he was certain that most of the members in the hall would already have in mind the person or persons whom they would want to vote for but he hoped to be allowed to reiterate two important points that he had always wanted to say. Firstly, the fact that he was standing at this podium, proved one important point; that it did not matter whether one was a litigator or a corporate lawyer, everyone can serve the Bar.
He would like to call on members who have the passion to serve the Bar to volunteer themselves and help out at the Bar. Secondly, it did not matter whether one was a senior practitioner or a junior practitioner. If one had the passion to serve the Bar, one must come forward to volunteer oneself. He believed that the Bar needed all the assistance that it could get from its members.
7.16 Harleen thanked everyone for attending this meeting. She introduced herself and indicated that some members may know her as Leena. She had served the KL Legal Aid Centre as a volunteer lawyer since completing her pupillage and is currently the Centre’s Secretary. She said that it was the most amazing world of all and invited members who did not have any goal nor any ambition, to go to the Legal Aid Centre. It would change their life. That aside, she pointed out that the Legal Aid Centre currently has 30 files waiting for “adoption” and would welcome assistance from all lawyers.
7.16.1 Harleen said that she was offering herself as a candidate for the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee because as mentioned by Ravin, the landscape for criminal legal practice is going to change with the establishment of the National Legal Aid Foundation. The KL Legal Aid Centre is working with the Attorney General’s Chambers together with the Bar Council and all the other Legal Aid Centres in the country on the project. Exciting times are ahead and she hoped that members would join them.
7.17 Surjan Singh introduced himself and said that he was better known to the senior lawyers since his interpreter days.
His friends had nominated his name and he would like to thank them. He believed that the Bar needed representatives who would open their mouth for the relevant issues and he intended to do that if he was voted into the Committee; to take on the Chief Justice, in particular, to teach the Chief Justice how to fix cases, which he had done all his life, and not the way where lawyers were being pushed around. He also lamented that the Chairman of the Bar ought not to have spoken without thinking twice such as saying that the fees should be raised by 400% and the public was now screaming at the Bar. What the Bar should have is a Chairman who should think and talk and not shoot his mouth off.
The Chairman could have just said that the fees would go up but as it is, the moment the issue of fees is raised, the public would cry because it is a few thousand dollars to be paid unlike paying doctors which would be about RM50 per trip or per visit. He asserted that brain and common sense must be used. That was all that he would do.
MINUTES 8 ANNUAL REPORT 2011/12 • 7.17.1 At the clarification sought by the Chairman whether he was talking about the Chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Bar or the President of the Malaysian Bar, Surjan said that he was talking about Ragunath Kesavan. The Chairman thanked Surjan for the clarification and pointed out that Ragunath Kesavan is the President of the Malaysian Bar and not the Chairman.
7.18 The Chairman said that it would only be fair for him to enlighten members a little about Muhendaran since the latter was not present to speak for himself. He said that Muhendaran had been serving on the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee for the last two years and had basically handled the sports portfolio. Brendan and he had proposed and seconded Muhendaran because they felt that he was the right person to carry on with that portfolio.
7.19 The Chairman called for the voting by secret ballot to start and informed members that they need not vote 10 names but can vote up to 10 names only. If more than 10 names were written, the vote would be considered a spoilt vote. He then reminded the pupils present that they were not entitled to vote.
The Chairman called for Item 9 of the Agenda to be dealt with while waiting for the results of the counting of the ballot papers.
He then asked whether there were any issues in particular that the House would like to raise.
itEM 9 OF AGEnDA:
General Parking at the KL Courts 9.1 9.1.1 The Chairman said that he would like to highlight a recent development with regard to parking at the KL Courts. As members might be aware, the Committee had over the last two years been extremely concerned with the parking problem at the KL Courts; there were summonses being issued and the Committee had tried to get some sort of moratorium on the summonses. Members would have noted that they were still being allowed to park along the roads leading to the Court building with no summonses being issued. The Committee had met up with the KL Traffic Police Chief and raised the parking problem in particular when high profile cases were heard in the KL Courts as those were the days when it would become highly chaotic because vehicles were not allowed to park along the roads. The KL Traffic Police Chief had said that as much as they sympathised with the lawyers, they were unable to do anything as security was their first priority.
9.1.2 The Chairman added that the Committee had tried to help alleviate the problem of parking by engaging the service of a shuttle operator to provide shuttle services for members from the MATRADE car-park to the KL Courts. Unfortunately the said plan failed because no one was parking at the MATRADE car-park and utilising the shuttle services. He further said that about a year or two ago, the Committee had been told that additional Courts together with a multi storey car-park would be built on the vacant land behind the existing Court building. Believing that to be so, the Committee had taken things a little easy but as late as the week before, the Committee had been informed that the plan had been put on hold. It thus would appear that there would be no increase in the parking space for members in the near future.
There were talks of introducing valet service but there were people who have issues with giving their cars to valet service providers.
9.1.3 The Chairman said that the Committee had ran out of ideas on how to address the parking problem but he trusts that the incoming Chairman and his Committee, with the news that the multi storey car-park plan had been shelved, would come up with more ingenious ways of addressing the problem.
national Legal Aid Foundation 9.2 Ravin referred to the National Legal Aid Foundation mentioned by Leena earlier and invited members of the Bar who were interested in handling legal aid work under the Foundation, to register themselves with the KL Legal Aid Centre.
He said that once the Foundation is up and running, the KL Legal Aid Centre would contact the members who had registered their names to inform them about the trainings and how to go about getting files from the Foundation.
Christopher Leong moved a vote of thanks to the outgoing Chair and his Committee for a job well done in the last term.
The Chairman thanked Christopher Leong and there being no other matters, he declared the 19th Annual General Meeting of the Kuala Lumpur Bar closed at 4.25 p.m.
A. intRODuCtiOn As Chairman, it is my duty to lead and oversee the functions of the largest State Bar in Malaysia. The term 2011/2012 was a challenge for all of us with many issues arising during the term. But it was my privilege and honour to have served the members of the Kuala Lumpur Bar and I believe that the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee (“KLBC”) have discharged its duties honestly, diligently and to the best of their abilities.
B. hOnORARY SECREtARY AnD CO-OPtED MEMBERS At its first meeting in March 2011, the KLBC appointed Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu as its Honorary Secretary for the term 2011/2012. Agnes Chan Kim Hong and Jason Kong were co-opted as members of the KLBC under Section 73(vii) of the Legal Profession Act 1976.
C. COMMittEE ACtiVitiES