Excitement of the Malaysian Bar AGM and patriotism
Writer: Lord Bobo
Published: Fri, 15 Mar 2013
DEAR Lord Bobo, the Malaysian Bar AGM is this weekend. I’m attending for the first time – do you think I can expect anything interesting? (Freshie Lawyer, via email)
Ah, the Malaysian Bar AGM. An annual affair where the biggest excitement is usually wondering whether a sufficient number of lawyers would bother turning up on a weekend so that the required quorum can be achieved.
Well, dear Freshie Lawyer, please do not get your hopes up for anything too interesting.
Lord Bobo only hopes that there are some interesting bihun goreng or karipap on the menu.
We have read through the agenda and motions, and it looks like it will be pretty much more of the same this year.
Lawyers turn up, the more vocal ones take the microphone to lavish praise on the Bar Council or fiercely criticise the Bar Council, and then that is that.
There is much talk but very little action.
There is one interesting motion this year, which is by a group of young lawyers, pertaining to the setting up of an independent investigation commission to enquire into the facts and circumstances relating to the famous statutory declaration by PI Bala.
We predict that after a few rounds of huffing and puffing, the motion will be passed and then… well… whatever happened to VK Lingam?
But anyway, do turn up at the AGM.
It is often a good place to meet fellow lawyers and… hang on, why on earth would anyone want to spend time with lawyers? Scrap that.
Come for the AGM, buy some merchandise at the LoyarBurok booth, give the LoyarBurokkers a hug and a belly-rub, and be on your way.
Lord Bobo, is it unpatriotic to criticise the government, military, or police while the situation in Lahad Datu is still uncertain? (Tongue Tied, via email)
The suggestion, which has been making the rounds, that it is “unpatriotic” to criticise the government or question the actions or inactions of the government, military or police is nothing short of ludicrous. His Supreme Eminenceness is truly stupefied whenever we hear or read this suggestion being repeated by people who really should know better.
In a way, it has been quite compelling the way the situation in Lahad Datu has developed over the weeks.
It wasn’t too long ago that social media was abuzz with people wondering what was going on.
In fact, some were even beginning to wonder whether anything was going on at all, or it was just a mass delusion.
The mainstream media didn’t help much – bigger news seemed to be happening, like the Prime Minister launching his Instagram account.
Our beloved Home Minister made some mention of a bunch of old, weak, malnourished people in sarongs and slippers who had taken over a village.
It seemed like all that was going to happen was that some representatives from the local hospice would come and pack them into a bus.
Quite unfortunately, it seems that all the “official information” was a bunch of lies, or at the very least a carefully-scripted misdirection.
And then of course it became “unpatriotic” to criticise the authorities and the government.
In countries with a culture of accountability, heads would have rolled.
The government officials in charge probably would not wait to be criticised or sacked, they would resign.
But hey, this is Malaysia, so let’s not talk about this foreign culture of accountability.
In Malaysia, politicians are the masters, and the people are the servants.
And who are the servants to question the actions or inactions of their masters?
The development of the reactions to Lahad Datu have been a compelling study of human behaviour – there is much idiocy going around, and you humans think you have evolved from apes, pah!
The combination of jingoism, bloodlust (“kill them all!”), and misplaced priorities have been rather worrying.
Next we’ll be excusing torture, detention without trial, and other violations of human rights.
Oh, is that happening already?