As the Malaysian Bar Annual General Meeting (AGM) draws near, we the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee strongly encourage all members of the Kuala Lumpur Bar to attend the said AGM at 10:00 am this Saturday (14 March 2015) at the Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
At this upcoming AGM, 12 motions have been put forward for debate. Some challenge the very essence of the Malaysian Bar’s values and some the very necessity.
The 12th Motion on the agenda of immense significance to the KL Bar members particularly, is “The Building Fund” motion.
By way of background, and for your information, on 2 March 1979, when the membership of the Malaysian Bar stood at roughly 1279 members, it was resolved that each member would contribute RM100.00 yearly towards the building fund.
The Bar Council has over the past 36 years, managed to work within the RM100.00 budget, this included shifting expenses for the Bar Council Library and Auditorium no less than five times and funding the purchase of 13 Bar buildings.
|State||Number of Buildings||Year||Amount Spent.
|Penang||2||1991 and 2012||1,200,000|
|Pahang||2||1995 and 2011||510,000|
|Malacca||2||1996 and 2012||1,092,000|
|Kedah (Kedah / Perlis then)||1||2006||320,000|
To date, only three States left without a building are Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and Perlis.
The rising costs of real-estate in Kuala Lumpur and the Bar Council’s other heavy financial commitments, (i.e. the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee, the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre (Kuala Lumpur), the Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board, Bar Council Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium as well as Risk Management & Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) Department) result in the incurrence of a mammoth sum of RM906,794 yearly towards rentals alone with no tangible benefit in the long run.
The Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee has incurred rentals of RM1,249,220 for the past 10 years. Currently, we have an annual rental commitment of RM169,646.
We would highlight that despite all these monies spent on rental in the Klang Valley, the Bar Council Secretariat still works in cramped conditions, lacks meeting rooms for the numerous committees of the Bar and the Library is only accessible by staircase and we have almost no parking spaces.
Needless to say, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee and Bar Council urgently require a long-term solution to this issue.
The Bar, after exploring many alternatives and sourcing for new premises, has come to the realisation that we need more funds.
Thus, the question to be asked is not “If the Bar Council needs to buy a building?”, rather, “When does the Bar Council need to buy a building?” and the answer is simply “NOW”.
Accordingly, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee fully and unequivocally support the Bar Council Motion to increase the Building Fund to RM250 and we urge all Bar members to do the same.
Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee