THE MCA Legal Bureau is shocked at the arrest on the night of 7 May of five Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre lawyers who were present at the Brickfields district police station to assist those arrested for holding a vigil for Bersih activist Wong Chin Huat.
The five lawyers were merely discharging their duties and obligations as advocates and solicitors and should have been accorded every opportunity to do so without fear or favour. Instead they were arrested. This use and abuse of police power is a direct affront to the laws of the country, and must be condemned.
Moreover, lawyers must not be pressured by the authorities that if they represent or give advice to clients who do not agree with government policies or actions, that they will be penalised.
The MCA Legal Bureau calls on the police to respect the rule of law and accord all detainees their right to consult counsel of their choice. The MCA Legal Bureau further calls on the police to allow advocates and solicitors access to their clients and to facilitate the discharging of their duties and obligations without fear or favour at all times.
Datuk Leong Tang Chong
MCA Legal Bureau
8 May 2009
Police mockery of right to legal access