Brothers and sisters,

Many of us have expressed our views, comments, and disgust on the Bar website pertaining to the VK Lingam video.

The Bar Council has also announced that they will convene a special meeting tomorrow to discuss this sordid episode.

The outcome of the meeting as far as I am concerned will be predictable — the BC will issue a press statement, refer VK to the disciplinary board, and convene an EGM and pass a resolution (for whatever it is worth).

But are these measures enough? If we are talking about any other issue such as the “rice bowl” issue, I may be contented with them. However, the present issue we are facing is something that is so serious it would warrant some form of immediate and effective action to send a strong message to the public and the world at large. This begs the question of, what else can we do?

I, for one, would call upon the members of the Bar to rally together and have a peaceful demonstration at the Palace of Justice, asking for the Chief Justice to be suspended pending an investigation on the matter.

If lawyers in Pakistan can rally to uphold the integrity of their judiciary, why can’t Malaysian lawyers do the same?

We should also march to the Istana and submit a memo to the Yang di–Pertuan Agong and the Rulers, calling for a Royal Commission to investigate this matter.

I know that there may be some of us who have reservations about having a peaceful demonstration. But my question to all of you is, do we want to have a deathbed regret?

Let us not have the “what if” thought when we are on our deathbeds, wondering if there was something else that we could have done other than merely attending the EGM and issuing statements/comments.

If blood has to be shed, let it be for the cause of upholding the integrity of the judiciary.

If heads have to roll, let them be the heads of the culprits that have brought eternal shame to our judiciary.

It would be a farce if all that we do is just talk and discuss this matter along the corridors of the court, warong kopi, and in meetings (e.g. EGM) and not take any serious action.

We can joke and laugh about the video and treat it like another episode of the VK Lingam chronicles.

We have had this kind of debates numerous times.

We condemn, and we criticise, and then we go back to the comfort of our beds and sleep over it.

But I for one do not want to sleep over it anymore.

Enough is enough.

We are good when it comes to preaching democracy and the right to peaceful assembly.

In fact, some of us are willing to even take up a test case for that right. But why are we so reluctant to have a peaceful demonstration to protest against such travesty ourselves? It is sad if the Council does not take the lead in this matter.

Do not let someone else fight for our cause.

We have to stand up and fight for ourselves.

It is either we keep our mouths shut or do something about it (and by doing something I do not mean merely having an EGM or issuing statements).

We have to take action and the time is now.

It is now or never and to quote Malcolm X, “by any means necessary”!

This article was published by the Malaysian Bar. Archived at Perma.