KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar’s negotiations with the police for lawyers to march from Padang Merbok to the Parliament building for its “Walk for judicial independence” have broken down.
The police wanted to only allow 20 lawyers to march to the Parliament building to hand over a memorandum, but the Bar did not agree with this.
The lawyers tried to go ahead with the march but failed to break through the police human barricade formed at both ends of the Padang Merbok car park.
“We have been stopped from exercising our constitutional right (to assemble). We will wait for YB (deputy law minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin) to come here,” said Bar president Karen Cheah.
Earlier, Cheah said the police had agreed to only facilitate the gathering at Padang Merbok, and not for them to march to Parliament.
“We will see what happens,” she had said.
About 500 lawyers had gathered for the march, but they were held back by the strong police presence.
Among those present were former attorney-general Tommy Thomas and politicians from parties like DAP, PKR and Muda.
The Bar’s “Walk for judicial independence” was organised to voice its dissatisfaction over “intimidation” towards the judiciary, particularly over the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into Court of Appeal judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
The investigation was initiated following a report about an unexplained sum of more than RM1 million in his bank account. The investigation papers have been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) for further action.
The Bar had said constitutional procedures should be followed in the probe, contending that the Federal Constitution provides for complaints about alleged judicial misconduct to be handled in a manner that ensures continued public confidence in the judiciary.