By Free Malaysia Today

Fahri Azzat, Anand Raj and New Sin Yew were the top three finishers in Bar Council elections.

Prominent lawyer Shafee Abdullah failed to secure a spot on the Bar Council after a group of younger activist lawyers took most of the top 16 places in the council election today.

Among those in the top 16 are activists who handle public interest and human rights cases as well as constitutional matters.

Fahri Azzat, who represents women’s rights group Sisters in Islam, came in top place with 2,449 votes. Anand Raj, the current Bar secretary, came in second with 2,413 votes while human rights lawyer New Sin Yew finished third with 2,301 votes.

Some 39 lawyers vied for the record 16 seats for the council’s 2024-2025 term.

Gregory Das, who came in 10th, is the son of former Bar president Cyrus Das, while Azmi Ali, who took 6th place, is a senior partner in one of the largest legal firms in the country.

Four women were among the top 16, including former Selangor Bar chairman V. Kokila Vaani in fourth place, and current Bar treasurer Murshidah Mustafa, who came in 12th.

Shafee Abdullah

Shafee managed only 1,251 votes, finishing in 22nd place.

He came to prominence in recent years representing former Prime Minister Najib Razak. In August, Shafee had sought RM2 million in damages from the Malaysian Bar for its pursuit of a motion to censure him during the 2015 annual general meeting,

Last month, FMT reported that Shafee, a member of the 2006-2009 council, could be eyeing the presidency after his long-drawn battle with the council leadership over several years.

The top 16 in today’s election will join 26 other members representing each state in the Peninsular to elect the Bar’s new president, secretary and treasurer after the annual meeting in March.

The current president is Karen Cheah.

The top 16 finishers in the Bar Council election were:

Fahri Azzat; Anand Raj; New Sin Yew; V. Kokila Vaani; Larissa Ann Louis; Azmi Ali; Peter-Douglas Ling; Sarah Yong; Tunku Farik Ismail; Gregory Das; Kee Hui Yee; Murshidah Mustafa; Collin Arvind Andrew; Yasmeen Shariff; Farez Jinnah; and Abhi Subramaniam.