Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Bar Council & Sensitive Issues: Conversion to Islam

Salam,

Frankly, being a practicing lawyer in Malaysia I feel sad and a bit disappointed with the Bar's forum.

Yes, it is a common practice of the Bar to have discussion, review and 'forum out' any recent case in Malaysia. It is part of the Bar and lawyers' continuing Legal Education activity. We lawyers always discuss any latest legal development in Malaysia for better understanding and it impact to legal environment in Malaysia. In the past we have discussed a lot of cases, judgments, and laws passed by the Parliament.

But, when it involves a very sensitive issue, namely the Malay and religion of Islam, I believe the Bar should be more responsible and conducting such open discussion or forum. They should at least avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretation from the public, particularly the Malays and muslims. Perhaps, next time they should first explain how would the forum to be carried out, inviting related experts from the religions department or even the Syariah court's judges to share their point of view. Neglecting them while discussing the sensitive issue would drag the Bar into this current unhealthy situation. The result, public are now condemning the Bar; and me, being a lawyer and members of the Malaysian Bar, feel the blow! For the last few days (or a week) I have been asked a lot of question regarding this, what could be my possible answer? I am not a member of the council… very annoying.

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