Not Wrong For Rayer To Defend Man Accused Of Selling Mykad Says Ramkarpal


Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh says lawyers act on the instructions of their clients.KUALA LUMPUR: It is not wrong for a lawyer who is also a MP, whether in government or not, to defend anyone in court, lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said today
The Bukit Gelugor MP warned those criticising Jelutong MP RSN Rayer for representing a man charged with selling MyKad to Chinese nationals that it could be construed as “intimidation of counsel in the discharge of his duties”
Ramkarpal said in a statement he agreed with the Bar Council’s view that the criticisms were disturbing, especially when every person was presumed innocent until proven otherwise
“I would further add that it appears that those criticising Rayer have presumed his client guilty of the charge against him which has led them to accuse Rayer of being in a conflicted position with the stand of the government
“It is elementary that lawyers act on the instructions of their clients and Rayer would have taken such instructions before deciding to represent his client. If such instructions are that his client is innocent, how can it be said that defending him is contrary to the stand of the government?”Ramkarpal said it was absurd to suggest that former DAP national chairman Karpal Singh’s defence of people charged with various offences in the past was different as Karpal was in the opposition at the time
He said this “implies that the political affiliation of counsel is a relevant factor in the defence of his/her client. Further, the argument that it is morally wrong to defend a person charged with an offence on the ground that such a defence goes against government policy cannot hold any water as this renders one’s right to be heard before being condemned insignificant”
Saying it was up to Rayer to decide whether to continue acting for his client, he added: “Such a defence, whether by Rayer or anyone else, however, should never be politicised.”It was reported that several people had questioned Rayer’s decision to defend Lai Chin Wah, who was charged with several others with falsifying and selling MyKad and Malaysian birth certificates to foreigners
Some had claimed that Rayer’s defence appeared to contradict the government’s stand as the government had decided to charge Lai, and Rayer was a member of the party in power
Several lawyers had raised the question of the morality of Rayer’s move

The Malaysian Bar said such criticisms were “calculated to intimidate and harass” Rayer. It said lawyers should be allowed to act freely for their clients and that every accused person was innocent until found guilty by the court. - FMT

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