KUALA LUMPUR: A group of Malaysian Bar members have demanded that president Christopher Leong retract his statement questioning the Federal Court’s judgment on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy case.
Speaking on behalf of the 100 members, a member of the Bar, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman said Leong’s statement did not represent the majority views of the practicing lawyers.
“We are concerned when the president of the Bar made disparaging remarks about our judiciary and the courts in the name of the Malaysian Bar.
"As far as I am concerned, let the rule take its own course,” he told a press conference here, Saturday.
On Feb 11, Leong said that Anwar was “persecuted instead of prosecuted” and that the opposition leader should have been charged under the 377C of the Penal Code for forced sodomy or sodomy rape.
In view of this, Abd Aziz called Leong to also apologise to the Federal Court judges, who had upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision to sentence Anwar to five-years of imprisonment for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
“Stop all the unwarranted attacks on the judiciary and apologise not to us but to the judges he blatantly smeared, and retract the statement.
“I believe if he does all this three, we are happy and we have no issues. Let’s see if he’s prepared to withdraw his statement. If he says that it was his personal view, we can accept that,” said Abdul Aziz.
A practicing lawyer, Datuk Mohd Noor Amin said they would give Leong 14 days to retract his statement.
“Failing which, we shall be constrained to take all the necessary steps to call for his immediate resignation from the position as the President of the Malaysian Bar and call upon the Attorney-General to take the necessary contempt proceeding against him,” he said.
When asked if their ideology was representing the 15,000 members of the Malaysian Bar given that only about 100 members supported their call, Abd Aziz said the numbers would grow in time.
“Besides, we are not a political party that is concerned about recruiting members.
“The fact that there have been 100 members who have voiced out their discontent within only two days surely indicates that Leong’s statement was not representing the entire Bar,” he said.
Attempts to reach Leong for comments have been unsuccessful.