The Bar Council today conceded that it has received a sum of RM53,757.13 (US$15,000) from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) as a grant for the research study on migrant workers in Malaysia.
Chairperson of the Bar Council Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs Committee M Ramachelvam revealed that the grant was received on Jan 7, 2015.
“It was used exclusively for the research study - payment of the researcher, transcribing and reviewing costs, consultation with stakeholders and out of pocket expenses.
“None of the grant was used for the Bar Council of Malaysia’s operating or administrative expenses,” he said when asked to comment on an allegations that the Bar might have received financial assistance from the OSF.
He explained that the Bar, through the Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs Committee, was carrying out a research study on ‘Access to Justice for Migrants’.
“The study aims, among others, to identify the legal remedies available to migrants, the gaps in migrants accessing justice in the legal system and the labour courts and other administrative tribunals, and the good practices available for migrants to access justice in Malaysia,” he added.