Press Release

“Malaysian bar members must better exercise their voting rights”

Dec 3, 2020

1. The lack of participation by the Malaysian Bar Council in its recently-concluded polls gives rise for concern.

2. Gerakan vice-president Dato’ Baljit Singh says the voting trend displayed by the 20,000 members was worrisome.

3. Of the 20,653 ballots issued, only 5,690 ballots were received.

4. This reflects that only more than 20 per cent voted and does not bode well for the legal fraternity, nor their interest in supporting the professional body which regulates the profession of lawyers in peninsular Malaysia.

5. Baljit, who is also Gerakan’s legal bureau chief, added that the apparent lack of interest among members to vote, did not bode well for the profession.

6. As a professional body, the Bar Council has on countless occasions urged the Malaysian public to exercise their voting rights, he said.

7. The Bar Council has also been vocal in voicing its stand in calling for reforms on the country’s electoral system.

8. It is most disheartening to note that members do not appear to practise what they preach in their own backyards.

9. The Bar Council comprises thirty eight (38) members who are elected annually to manage the affairs and execute the functions of the Malaysian Bar.

10. In the recently concluded 2021/2022 Bar council polls, veteran lawyer Hendon Mohamed came out tops with 2,952 votes.

11. Number of ballots where members were ineligible to vote totalled 33. There were 10 spoilt votes and a total of 5,647 valid ballots.

12. Going forward, the Malaysian Bar Council must improve on its own voting practises before calling on the public in future to exercise their voting rights when going out to cast their ballots.

13. Baljit added that he shuddered to imagine what would happen if the Bar Council’s voting trends are mirrored in the country’s next general elections.