Najib’s lawyer Shafee Abdullah joins race for Bar Council seat

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Prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (MSA) will join 39 candidates vying for election to the Bar Council for the 2024/2025 term, ending a 15-year hiatus from contesting.

In a circular sighted by Malay Mail, Muhammad Shafee’s candidacy was proposed by lawyers Wee Yeong Kang, Wan Mohammad Arfan Wan Othman and Genevieve Bridie Vanniasingham.

“In recent years, MSA has been at the forefront of numerous high-profile legal disputes, reflecting his unwavering commitment to justice and legal integrity without fear.

“His representation of significant political figures in various legal proceedings underscores his stature as a trusted legal counsel.

“As the Bar Council Election 2024/2025 approaches, MSA’s vast experience and proactive engagement with legal and human rights issues make him a notable figure within the Malaysian legal fraternity,” Muhammad Shafee’s brief candidate write-up read.

Muhammad Shafee previously served as a Bar Council member for two terms (2007-2008; 2008-2009). Checks by Malay Mail found that he last contested Council elections for the 2009-2010 term as an incumbent but failed to get re-elected.

Yusof Mat Isa

Among Malaysia’s more high-profile lawyers, Muhammad Shafee’s clients include former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International and 1MDB cases, Samirah Muzaffar in the Cradle Fund CEO murder case and Abdul Razak Baginda in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

The Bar Council comprises forty-two members who are elected annually to manage the affairs and execute the functions of the Malaysian Bar.

The Malaysian Bar is a professional body that regulates the profession of lawyers in peninsular Malaysia, with 21,570 registered practitioners to date.

The Council consists of the immediate past president and vice-president of the Malaysian Bar, the chairman of each of the 12 State Bar Committees, one member elected by each of the 12 State Bar Committees to be its representative to the Bar Council and 16 members elected throughout Peninsular Malaysia by way of postal ballot.

According to the Malaysian Bar, the number of candidates this year was a notable increase from 27 candidates previously and the highest recorded figure to date.

Among the 39 candidates, 14 are incumbents seeking re-election.

The incumbents are B Anand Raj, Murshidah Mustafa, Datuk Azmi Mohd Ali, Fahri Azzat, Farez Mohd Ali Jinnah, Fariz Irwan Mustafa, Kee Hui Yee, Kokila Vaani Vadiveloo, Larissa Ann Louis, New Sin Yew, Roshalizawati Muhammad, Tunku Farik Tunku Ismail, Datuk Yasmeen Mohd Shariff and Sarah Yong Li Hsien.

The 25 non-incumbents are Abhilaash Subramaniam, Ahmad Nazrin Abu Bakar, Bernard Scott, Collin Arvind Andrew, Cyrus Tiu Foo Woei, David Dev Peter, Eugene Roy Joseph, Gregory Vinesh Das, Hu Shi En, Khong Siong Sie, Jeff Leong Pak Lim, Mohamad Redzuan Idrus, Mohd Sahrilnizam Mohd Amin, Muhammad Aiman Firdaus Noor Azman, Muhammad Hafiz Hood, Muhammad Hawari Hanafi, Muizzudin Schanni Feizal Maurice Feizal, Nor Zabetha Muhamad Nor, Norliza Rasool Khan, Nurhidayaty Maidin, Peter-Douglas Ling, Wan Muhammad Hafiz Wan Zawawi, Yohendra Nadarajan and Zolazrai Zolkapli

It is expected that all the postal ballots will be delivered to the election scrutineers on December 1, and the results declared the same day. – MMO