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KUCHING, Jan 20: Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) believes that certain quarters are attempting to misinterpret and politicise the dancing at the Gala Dinner for the Opening of the Legal Year 2019 for Sabah and Sarawak.
AAS president Ranbir Singh Sangha today issued a statement, maintaining its stance of supporting dancing which was done in good taste at the beginning of the year.
“We are wholly in agreement with the Sabah Law Society (SLS) president that the event held is the hallmark of a mature legal community and are equally as disappointed as the SLS that certain quarters are attempting to misinterpret what was a social and harmonious occasion reflective of our East Malaysian hospitality and politicise it for whatever reasons.
“Those who criticise may not know about the morals and ethics that are culturally held high in East Malaysia at such events,” said Ranbir.
His statement was in response to criticisms following the video of a gala dinner hosted by the SLS in conjunction with the Opening of Legal Year 2019, where Attorney General Tommy Thomas and Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malajum were dancing on stage.
“Large numbers of the members of the AAS and myself were in attendance for the Opening of the Legal Year 2019 in Kota Kinabalu and the Gala Dinner that followed later.
“We echo the views of the SLS president and refute any suggestion of impropriety as expressed by certain quarters of the video of members of the legal fraternity dancing on the stage at the Opening of Legal Year Gala Dinner 2019.”
“It was done in good taste and we congratulate our hosts for a job well done,” said Ranbir.
He said the gala dinner is a celebratory tradition for Sabah and Sarawak which also celebrates the achievements of the legal fraternity and the second half of 2018 as well as the beginning of 2019 which has given the legal fraternity as a whole much cause to celebrate especially for the many legal reforms that have been brought about administratively for the benefit of the Malaysian public and the legal fraternity.
“Our members, and it is hoped that the rest of the legal fraternity will not feel constrained by such unawarranted and unsubstantiated criticisms to dance at annual social events as the Opening of Legal Year Gala Dinners in future.”
“The AAS will in fact invite the Chief Justice of Malaysia, the Attorney General of Malaysia and Judges in attendance to enter into a dance competition with the Advocates and other invited guests at the next Opening of Legal Year 2020 to be held in Sarawak,” said Ranbir.
He explained that the Opening of the Legal Year in Sabah and Sarawak has been marked for many years and is an annual event that is held every year alternating between Sabah and Sarawak.
The Opening of Legal Year 2018 was held in Miri, Sarawak and the one for 2020 will be held in Sarawak again. — DayakDaily