KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council Legal Aid Centre and the Royal Thai Embassy today launched a new legal aid scheme called the Thai Citizens Legal Aid Scheme (T-CLAS) for Thai nationals seeking legal assistance.
Thai ambassador in Malaysia, Damrong Kraikruan, said the aim of the scheme was to help Thai nationals with legal issues in the country.
He said there were about 200,000 Thais in Malaysia and they might have problems understanding the country’s laws.
“There may be some who may run into trouble. This will assist them when they are in trouble. That is why we need advice and support from the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre,” he said at a press conference here today.
For the time being, he said, the scheme would only cover criminal offence and family matters such as child custody and divorce.
Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre chairman Collin Arvind Andrew said the scheme would provide free legal representation for Thai nationals in Malaysia.
The Thai embassy will cover the costs and expenses, he added.
He said among others, the scheme would provide lawyers to help with criminal cases or cases related to immigration and family law.
“In addition to that, T-CLAS will also allow for regular prison visits of Thai detainees in Sungai Buloh and Kajang Prison.
“Outreach programmes for the Thai nationals will also be held to create awareness on the various legal issues affecting Thai nationals in Malaysia,” he said.
He expressed hope that more embassies would come forward to set up a similar scheme.