KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar has strongly denied Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s claim at the Umno general assembly last week accusing the Bar Council of being part of a foreign-funded movement to topple the government.
“The Malaysian Bar categorically refutes the preposterous allegation — ‘overthrowing the government’ – against the Bar Council,” said Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru in a statement.
“It’s wholly unfounded, and maligns the Bar Council.”
Speaking on the last day of the Umno general assembly on Dec 3, Zahid cited intelligence reports which named the Bar Council among several other organisations which he said was influenced by the “colour revolution”, a reference to peaceful movements to mobilise masses to topple governments.
Thiru however dismissed the claim as an attempt by Zahid “to smear and vilify the Bar Council” and divert attention from other problems faced by the government.
He added that the Bar had always engaged government leaders to achieve its goals of upholding the rule of law and good governance.
“The overthrow of our Government is antithetical to the Bar’s raison d’être — to ‘uphold the cause of justice without regard to its own interests or that of its members, uninfluenced by fear or favour’, which includes preserving the rule of law, promoting good governance, protecting fundamental rights, upholding the independence of the Judiciary and strengthening the administration of justice,” said Thiru.