A lawyer today lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Bar over fellow lawyer Siti Kasim’s Facebook posting of a video of a speech made at the Kuala Lumpur Bar’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday.
Mohd Amir Sharil Bahari Md Noor, otherwise known as just Amir Bahari, said Siti should not have recorded the video and posted it online, likening it to court proceedings where snapping photos and recording videos is disallowed.
“I lodged a Bar Council report against her, because it contravenes the Legal Profession Act,” the lawyer who was one of the candidates for the KL Bar chairman post told Malay Mail Online today.
In his complaint sighted by Malay Mail Online, Amir Bahari urged for investigations to be initiated as he believed Siti’s actions amounted to a breach of the LPA’s Section 76(2).
Among other things, Section 76(2) requires the maintenance of “confidentiality of deliberations at all meetings, proceedings or inquiries of the Board, the Bar Council, the State Bar Committee, the Disciplinary Board and the Disciplinary Committee” except for when such disclosure is needed to publish reports or to give effect to resolutions or decisions taken.
Amir Bahari said he lodged the complaint at around noon today, also noting that he plans to lodge a police report on this matter by tomorrow.
When contacted, Siti confirmed that she had uploaded a video of a fellow lawyer who stood up to speak at the 25th KL Bar AGM yesterday.
“As far as I’m concerned, the speaker and I, we are going to stick to our belief that we have not breached any rule,” she told Malay Mail Online today.
Siti acknowledged the need to maintain secrecy of the meeting’s proceedings is to allow members to speak freely without fear that they will be quoted outside the meeting without their consent, noting that she did not publicly disclose the content of the entire AGM’s proceedings but had only shared a fellow lawyer’s opinion.
“Here the speaker who spoke about it gave me the consent to publish what he said in the meeting and no other words being said by other people was put in there. I don’t see what the problem is,” she said.
She explained that she had put up the video as she felt it contained a rational and important message that she believed many members of the public have been waiting to hear, noting: “There is no purpose to put down anyone”.
Siti said that she will cooperate with the Malaysian Bar if an investigation is conducted, also confirming that she will remove the video if the Malaysian Bar thinks she should do so.
At the time of writing, Siti’s video has garnered over 116,000 views by Facebook users.
When contacted to verify if he had given his consent, the lawyer who had spoken in the video declined comment as a complaint had been lodged.
Amir Bahari’s eight-page complaint was addressed to the Malaysian Bar secretary and copied to the Malaysian Bar president. Malay Mail Online has contacted the secretary and is awaiting a response.
When contacted, Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru told Malay Mail Online, “We look into all allegations of misconduct made against any member of the Bar. The member concerned will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, before we decide whether to lodge a complaint with the Disciplinary Board”.
When contacted, lawyer Andrew Khoo in sharing his personal opinion on the LPA’s Section 76(2) said that “confidentiality is there to ensure that meetings can be held and discussions can be full and frank without there being any concerns that views that are expressed are then broadcasted outside the meeting”.
“I don’t think it’s for the person speaking to give consent because this is statutory rules and if there’s to be waiver of confidentiality, it has to be a decision of the meeting itself,” he told Malay Mail Online, when it was highlighted that the speaker was said to have given consent for the video to be shared.
Source : Ida Lim @ Malay Mail Online