Uncovered! A draft bill to allow peninsula lawyers to practise in Sarawak, Sabah

A picture of the top portion of the first page of the draft Legal Profession Bill 2019 that has been in circulation in the legal fraternity.

KUCHING, April 26: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has stumbled upon a judicial shocker — a Legal Profession Bill 2019 has been drafted and circulated among the legal fraternity.

He is now investigating whose effort it was because its current wording might result in the removal of the special privilege of Sarawak and Sabah in order to allow lawyers from outside to practise in the two states.

“I was made aware of a draft of the Legal Profession Bill 2019 that has been circulating around, especially among the legal fraternity.

“While I am made to understand that it is merely a draft and is not released by the AGC (Attorney General’s Chamber), but in its current wording, I will reject, especially as it repeals the Advocates Ordinance of Sabah and Advocates Ordinance of Sarawak once the operation of the Act comes to Sabah and Sarawak.

“My main concern is that West Malaysian lawyers can come over to practise here without having to do the necessary application which is in store to safeguard local Sarawakians lawyers,” said Dr Yii.

He added that he had contacted de facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong and was made to understand that this draft was neither from his office nor from the AGC.

Uncertain about who released this draft that seeks to amend the Legal Professional Act 1976 (LPA), Dr Yii pledged to get to the bottom of this matter.

“It is basically a proposal to get feedback from the Bar’s members and its associates. At this moment, the paper hasn’t been brought to the attention of the Law Minister for submission to the Cabinet for approval.

“It is, thus, procedural and proper for those concerned, including the legal bodies in Sabah and Sarawak, to register their objections to the appropriate body without further delay,” said Dr Yii. — DayakDaily