Non-Sarawakian lawyers would not infringe on rights, so long as criteria met: Idris

Datuk Idris Buang

KUCHING, Aug 26: While the rights of Sarawakian lawyers must be protected, non-Sarawakian lawyers who can meet the criteria as required by the constitution should also be allowed to set up offices in Sarawak.

This is the view of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Datuk Idris Buang.

“Personally, I do not know who the non-Sarawakian lawyers are, who are allegedly trying to set up offices in Sarawak. But, I think Voon (Lee Shan) of PBK (Parti Bumi Kenyalang) may have some points that drive home.

“However, the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance does allow non-Sarawakians lawyers with ‘Sarawak Connection’, among others, to be eligible for consideration to be admitted as advocates and solicitors of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak.

“Once admitted as such, they have every right to practise and invariably set offices in Sarawak. This is legally and constitutionally proper.”

“I agree that we should be protective of our local Sarawakian lawyers but at the same time we cannot stop non-Sarawakian lawyers who have met all the criteria as required by the Sarawak Advocates Ordinance to be admitted to the Sarawak Roll of Advocates,” said Idris who is Muara Tuang assemblyman.

Idris was responding to Voon who had called on the Sarawak government, the Advocates Association of Sarawak, and the Attorney-General’s Chamber to give serious attention to the admission of non-Sarawakian lawyers to practise in Sarawak.

Voon disclosed that there were applications by two senior and well-respected legal practitioners in Malaysia to the High Court in Sarawak for admission to the Sarawak Bar to practise as advocates in Sarawak.

His main concern was that the admission of non-Sarawakian lawyers may have an effect on the people of Sarawak, especially the younger and future generations who will practise in the future.

“I hope and pray that the Sarawak government will take notice of this matter seriously. Any leeway given or which could ‘dilute’ Sarawak’s rights should not be acceptable to the Sarawak government,” Voon told a press conference at his office here yesterday.—DayakDaily