We are located at:

9th Floor, Wisma Kraftangan, No. 9, Jalan Tun Perak
50050 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 603-2691 3005/2693 2072 Fax: 603-2693 0527

Email: lacklb@streamyx.com 

Office hours: Mondays-Fridays, 10.00am-1.00pm; 2.00pm-4.00pm

Closed on: Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays

Bilik Pusat Bantuan Guaman
Tingkat 1 Plaza, Sayap Kanan,
Kompleks Makhamah Kuala Lumpur,
Jalan Duta
50592 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-6203 1534

Office Hours: Monday-Friday
8.30am-3.30pm

 

 

 

Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee

ABOUT US

"Through the centuries of war, social inequality and man's inhumanity to man, there have been echoed the vow that justice should be available to all who seek it - irrespective of cost"
Blueprint for Justice
International Legal Aid Association

 

PHILOSOPHY OF LEGAL AID

 Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law”

Article 8 of the Malaysian Constitution “All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law”

Section 42 (h) Legal profession Act 1979 “The purpose of the Malaysian Bar shall be to make provision for or assist in the promotion of a scheme whereby persons may be represented by advocates and solicitors”

Today ignorance of the law is no longer considered a bliss. The law and legal system is seen to be present and practical in our daily lives and routines.

Therefore the Legal Aid Centre’s objective is to enlighten the public and the impecunious in particular as to the legal aspects and to educate them about the various fundamental and legal rights and liberties that they are entitled to.

The Legal Aid Centre also joins hands with many organisations to ensure that it provides and delivers the legal services to the needy society.

The Legal Aid believes that its role in society is to contribute and lend a hand to achieving and upholding the principles and philosophy of equality and equal protection before the law.

Legal Aid is a step towards affording equal opportunity to the poor an the under privileged to secure justice which is their right.

The primary objective in legal aid is to provide all citizens equal opportunity for the enforcements of their fundamental right to equality before the law.

 

THE BAR COUNCIL OF MALAYSIA

The Malaysian Bar is a creature of statute established under the Advocates and Solicitors' Ordinance 1947 which ordinance was subsequently repealed by the Legal Profession Act 1976. It is an independent Bar whose aim is to uphold the rule of law and the cause of justice and protect the interest of the legal profession as well as that of the public. The legal profession in Malaysia is a fused one with a membership of approximately 12,000 members and its membership is increasing by 10 -15% annually. Each advocate and solicitor is automatically a member of the Malaysian Bar so long as he/she holds a valid Practising Certificate.

Purpose of the Malaysian Bar

 

HISTORY OF LEGAL AID IN MALAYSIA

1976
Legal Profession Act passed and Malaysian Bar established as a body corporate. Inter alia, under  object and powers of the Bar, Section 42(1) states that the purpose of the Malaysian Bar shall be:
a) to uphold the cause of justice without regards to its own interest or that of its members influenced by
fear or favour
b) to protect and assist the public in all matters touching ancillary or incidental to the law;
c) to make provision for or assist in the promotion of a scheme whereby impecunious persons may be
represented by advocates and solicitors.

1978-80
Electronics Industry in FTZ Bayan Lepas attract massive influx of workers from rural areas in Penang, Province Wellesley, Kedah and Perlis. Workers not allowed to form unions turn social workers and village headmen for help. Problem relating to housing, working conditions, minimum wages, sexual harassment etc. continue to mount. Social worker V Alfred appeals to Penang lawyers for assistance.

1980
Management Panel of lawyers, paralegals and university lecturers formed and first employment-related case filed in the Labour Office, Penang by The Penang Legal Advisory Centre (PLAC). The name Legal Advisory Centre chosen after much deliberation by the management panel to distinguish the centre from the Government’s ‘Legal Aid Bureau’ and avoid confusion. First case involves paralegal Arumugam’s daughter and 7 others regarding long working hours, minimum wage and extensive probation period. Word about success of Arumugam’s daughter’s case spreads and PLAC is deluged with complaints and cases. PLAC has no premises of its own and all complaints and matters are handled on an ad-hoc basis at the local community library and a coffee shop on the main road.

1981-82
It has become imperative for PLAC to have premises of its own. An appeal is made to the Penang Bar and an article appears in the Suara Peguam – voice of the Penang Bar – calling for volunteer lawyers and donations. Article in Suara Peguam is picked up by NST. Several lawyers, academics and well-wishers including the late Mustapha Hussain and Oliver Phipps respond positively. The late Justice Fred Arulanandom Chief Judge in Penang gives his blessing. Paralegal Arumugam & Leh find a dilapidated wooden shack with zinc roof on the main road. They pay the deposit of RM150/- out of their own pockets! The Penang Legal Advisory Centre is officially opened by Penang Bar Chairman, the late Mr Lee Kok Liang. In Kuala Lumpur, a small group of lawyers spearheaded by Ms Chew Swee Yoke set up a legal aid office (KLAC) in a small room in the High Court premises with financial assistance from the Asia Foundation. One of its first cases involves grievances of workers from the Raub Cherok Estate.

1983
The pro bono efforts of the lawyers in Penang and Kuala Lumpur catch the attention of the late Tan Sri Dr. Tan Chee Khoon who writes a feature article heralding the dawn of Barefoot Lawyering in Malaysia, in his column ‘Without Fear or Favour’. The Bar decides to give substance to Section 42 (1) (h) of the Legal Profession Act and at the historic AGM, the Malaysian Bar passes a resolution to set up its Legal Aid Scheme where every practising lawyer is required to contribute RM100/- towards the scheme.

1984
First National Legal Aid Conference held at the Royal Selangor club in K.L.

1985
PLAC’s work continues to expand not only on the island and mainland but also to Taiping, Sungai Patani, Kulim, Alor Star, Kangar and Ipoh as there are no other such centres in North Malaysia. The KLAC expands its work to other areas of Selangor and opens a clinic in Batang Berjuntai. International Commission for Jurists (ICJ) and Asian Commission for Human Right delegation including Dr. Clarence Dias, D.J. Ravindran and Clement Johns pay an officially visit to PLAC and endorse its employment of paralegals in legal aid work. First management panel members of PLAC including Rohanna Ariffin, P Kirupanithi, Rebecca Lim and others are instrumental in setting up the Women’s Crisis Centre (WCC) in Penang. Among first male members of WCC are lawyers Chew Seng Kok & Cecil. Jacinta Joseph, present PLAC Administrator, is first co-ordinator of the WCC

1986-90
Tan Sri Edgar Joseph Jr. (then Chief Judge in Penang) visits PLAC on the occasion of its sixth anniversary and urges lawyers to take up its call. Perak Bar opens its Legal Aid Centre in Ipoh. Butterworth clinic officially opened by V. Theivinthiran, President of the Malaysian Bar. Malaysian Bar passes resolution requiring all chambering students to serve 14 days of their chambering period at a legal aid centre. Bar opens centres in Kota Baru, Kelantan, Malacca, Seremban, Johore and Pahang.

1991-92
National Legal Aid Conference with the theme “Legal Aid – A Blueprint for the 1990’s” held at Tambun Inn, Ipoh. The conference sets the tone and ambit of the Bar’s legal aid programme for the next decade. Commonwealth Legal Education Association (London) highly commends PLAC’s method of recruitment and training of paralegals drawn from the ranks of past clients as a good illustration of how legal education should be propagated at grassroots level. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) held a Workshop for paralegals in Puncak, Indonesia and the views and input of Malaysian legal aid lawyers.

1993
National Legal Aid Conference attended by over a hundred delegated held in Penang. Theme of the conference is “Towards Improved Legal Services to the Poor”. Legal Aid Centres pledge to work with NGOs on a host of issues ranging from the disabled to migrant workers to Aids victims. Penang High Court Judge Datuk Abdul Hamid lauds the work of legal aid lawyers.

1994-99
NLAC launch Law Awareness campaign nationwide. Distributes thousands of Legal Literacy leaflets and gives legal assistance and advice to hundreds of callers at stalls set up in markets and megamalls. NLAC and the Bar’s Human Rights C’tee file historic public interest case affecting land rights of the orang asli in Bukit Tampoi (Re: Tagong Kasi case). Puan Hendon Mohamed, President of the Malaysian Bar, opens legal aid clinic for the orang asli in Tapah, Perak. First World Legal Aid Conference held in KL (1995)

2000-2005
Bar passes resolution requiring every practising lawyer to take up at least one legal aid case per year. PLAC initiates Mobile Legal Aid project designed to take legal aid, advice and assistance further into farflung rural areas. First Mobile Legal Aid clinic (MOBLAC) hits the road and is deployed in Penang, Province Wellesley & Kedah. Malaysian Bar’s legal aid scheme is recommended as the module to be emulated by law Societies/Associations in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.