By M. Mageswari | The Star

The Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee started the ball rolling for young lawyers of the Malaysian Bar to serve in the Bar Council or any of the state bar committees. 

It launched a campaign to sign a petition for a repeal of section 46A of the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976, which disqualifies lawyers with less than seven years’ standing from serving on any of the Bar’s governing bodies. Even lawyers who are members of Parliament or who hold office in any trade union or political party are disqualified from serving on the council and its committees. 

The launch yesterday was part of the Malaysian Bar’s nationwide roadshow which seeks to create awareness and educate lawyers and the public as to what the Bar stands for and dispel myths and misunderstandings when the Bar takes on “principled positions on issues to, in effect, lead public opinion”. 

KL Bar’s Young Lawyers Committee secretary Edmund Bon said they would forward the nationwide petition, together with a memorandum and a working paper, to the Attorney General’s Chambers and the government at the end of the one-year campaign. 

“We will also prepare a Private Members’ Bill and lobby members of Parliament proposing the same,” Bon told reporters at the launch.  

Kedah/Perlis Bar’s Young Lawyers Committee chairperson Lim Yang Yang said: “The section is unconstitutional and it discriminates.”  

In his opening address, KL Bar Committee Chairman K. Ragunath said when 75% of the Bar was made up of lawyers below seven years in practice, section 46A disqualified them from participating and contributing to the Bar.