Bar ding-dong, part 2: ‘Fallacious and mendacious’
- Loyar Burok lawyers: Roger’s arguments fallacious
- Roger: You lot are fallacious and mendacious
Sunday Star columnist lawyer Roger Tan has labelled as mendacious an article at Loyar Burok yesterday by eight lawyers who had picked out fallacies in his arguments against a recent Bar Council resolution on the Bersih rally. His concluding retort was to say “their arguments against me are … both fallacious and mendacious”.
The Bar had adopted a resolution condemning the police brutality at the Bersih rally on April 28. Roger, who did not vote for the resolution, explained in his column why he could not support the resolution. Yesterday the Loyar Burok 8 fired off a joint response in which they said police brutality, as an action of the state, was a manifest injustice and that the Bar must always stand for the common man against unjust actions of the state.
In his reply, Roger made these arguments:
He had questioned the impartiality of the Bar’s 80 monitors stationed at the rally, as they were not named. He said the political and social beliefs and prejudices of the monitors was essential to assess the integrity of the final report, and quoted from several Tweets sent by one of the monitors, whom he knows personally, who had Tweeted while on duty.
Roger defended his own political affiliation (he is a dormant member of the MCA) as a matter of public knowledge but not material to his arguments as he had not volunteered to be a monitor. He said he had never pursued a political agenda on behalf of any organisation, and most of his articles were critical of government policies and supportive of the Bar. He said it was a fallacy to insinuate that his stand arose from his MCA membership.
“I am not just obsessed, but very obsessed with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim”, he said; this was out of concern, as a lawyer, whether Anwar, who aspires to be prime minister, had regard for the rule of law and due process.
He takes issue with the Loyar Burok 8’s assertion that the removal of the barricade was not witnessed by any of the monitors, and therefore there was no compelling evidence to include as part of the monitors’ report. “My eyesight is still good enough to watch the many videos posted on the You Tube which showed otherwise,” he said.
He said he did not condone police brutality but would support the resolution if it similarly condemned violent actions by the protestors at the rally. He had asked for such condemnation to be included but was over-ruled. (The Loyar Burok 8 said the police, as an instrument of state, must live up to higher standards, and the Bar must stand for the common man against injustice by the state.)
He said the Bar should have “been more circumspect” in their approach, and that merely expressing concern over the actions of the “rioters”, while condemning the police, would be “repugnant to many law-abiding citizens”. (The Loyar Burok 8 had said it was a fallacy that in order to be seen as “independent” the Bar must always be even handed and restrained, and an even greater fallacy when it concerns injustice.)