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Sunday, May 31, 2020

PPUGFM is an utter disgrace to the legal profession

Malaysiakini

Lawyers should uphold justice without fear or favour at all times, and without regard to self-interests or any other vested interests.
This spirit has been the motto of the Malaysian bar for the longest time, and is clearly spelled out in Section 42 (1) (a) of the Legal Profession Act 1976.
Therefore, the Felda Generation Malaysia Legal Practitioners’ Association’s call (PPUGFM) that Pakatan Harapan gives Umno a walkover for the upcoming Chini by-election upholds neither justice nor impartiality and is an absolute disgrace to the Malaysian Bar and to the entire legal profession.
Case in point, PPUGFM president Mohd Rosidi Hassan actually had the audacity to state that Umno had a clear mandate from the last general election to represent Chini.
"Let Chini continue to be represented by Umno until the term (of the Pahang state legislative assembly) expires," he said.
Is he truly not aware of just how hypocritical this sounds, of the double standards he is unscrupulously endorsing as a lawyer?
Did Pakatan Harapan not have a resounding mandate from the last election to be Malaysia’s rightful government for a full term?
Which part of the people’s choice at the ballot box in 2018 was so unclear that it should even require any explanation or defence?
Going by Rosidi’s logic, Umno and the other political parties that make up Perikatan Nasional should have respected the people’s mandate until Pakatan served its full term as the federal government.
On the contrary, PN staged a political coup and made an international mockery out of democracy and out of Malaysia, simply because they are so consumed by money and power.
If what Rosidi said wasn’t appalling enough, add this to the mix - "If we consider that Muafakat Nasional now exists, it is clear who will be the choice of the Chini voters."
Even though Chini is traditionally an Umno stronghold, his immediate presumption that Chini voters would automatically vote for an Umno candidate simply because PN is now in power reveals the sort of mentality that threatens democracy and is a stumbling block to progress.
A mentality that no self-respecting or principled lawyer should ever have, let alone seek to impose on others.
Furthermore, Rosidi added that PPUGFM's position was not against the principles of democracy, which is deeply insulting given that it comes from an association of lawyers.
The true spirit of democracy honours freedom and equality, it fights for the weak and defends the downtrodden.
Democracy empowers citizens and protects their rights. Democracy believes in clean and fair elections, and would certainly never attempt to stop or sabotage them.
These values are what the Malaysian Bar fights so hard for.
Rosidi’s reason for why Harapan should just hand Chini over to Umno on a silver platter is due to Covid-19, because saving lives comes first.
Such words by themselves sound heartwarming and noble, but when taken into consideration with everything else he has said, the truth is immediately apparent.
Covid-19 is once again just a mere excuse for Umno to undermine the heart of democracy and Chini just one of its many spoils of war.
As for PPUGFM, the credibility and integrity of any lawyers are thrown into question when their stance clearly goes against democratic principles.
Lawyers should always be mindful of their role in upholding justice, be servants to democracy and slaves to no political master.
Any other behaviour to the contrary heaps shame on the legal profession. - Mkini

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