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Movement Control Order and Payment of Subscription and Levies for 2020 (Circular No 111/2020)

Circular No 111/2020
Dated 16 Apr 2020

To Members of the Malaysian Bar

Movement Control Order and Payment of Subscription and Levies for 2020

We understand the difficulties that Members are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Movement Control Order (“MCO”) that has been in effect since 18 Mar 2020.

The Bar Council has been looking at ways and means in which it can help ease the cash flow problem that Members are facing.

Having looked at the financials of the Bar and considered the provisions of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”), the Bar Council has determined that it is possible to reduce the annual subscription to the Malaysian Bar, and either waive completely or reduce some of the levies for 2020.

The total payment that Members make to the Malaysian Bar every year is RM1,080.  The Bar Council has decided to reduce this to RM730 for 2020.  Please find below the breakdown:

No

Payments Required under the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”)

Amount (RM)
in 2019

Amount (RM)
in 2020

(1)

Annual Subscription
— Section 46(1) of the LPA

450

350

(2)

Building Fund (Levy)
— Section 46(3) of the LPA

250

120

(3)

Legal Aid Fund (Levy)
— Section 46(3) of the LPA

100

100

(4)

LawCare Fund (Levy)
— Section 46(3) of the LPA

100

0

(5)

Sports Fund (Levy)
— Section 46(3) of the LPA

20

0

(6)

Compensation Fund (Contribution)
— Section 80(2) of the LPA

100

100

(7)

Discipline Fund (Prescribed Fee)
— Section 29(1)(c) of the LPA

60

60

 

TOTAL

1,080

730

The Bar Council is not able to reduce the annual subscription and levies further as this would severely affect the financial standing of the Bar.  As it is, the reduction in annual subscription and levies outlined above will already result in the Bar forgoing approximately RM7 million in subscription and levies to the various Funds.  The Bar Council is looking at cost-cutting measures and income generation to strengthen the financial standing of the Bar.

With the reduction in annual subscription and levies, each Member will save RM350 this year.  Instead of paying the usual RM1,080, a Member would only have to pay RM730.

We draw your attention to sections 44, 46(5) and 46(6) of the LPA, which read as follows:

Section 44 All members who are not in arrears with their subscription under section 46 shall be eligible— 
(a) to attend and vote at any general meeting;
(b) subject to section 46A, to be elected to the Bar Council; and
(c) to vote on the election of members to the Bar Council.
Section 46(5) Liability to pay any annual subscription to the Malaysian Bar shall arise when the subscription has been fixed by the Bar Council. All annual subscriptions to the Malaysian Bar shall be paid by the 30th day of June of each year.
Section 46(6) An advocate and solicitor shall, if he pays his annual subscription after the date mentioned in subsection (5), pay to the Bar Council, in addition to the subscription due, an amount equivalent to the subscription so due.

In accordance with Section 46(5), Members are only required to pay the annual subscription of RM350 by 30 June 2020.  None of the other payments need to be made by 30 June 2020.

Thus, the total payment of RM730 can be made in two tranches – RM350 before the deadline of 30 June 2020, and the balance of RM380 before the Member applies for the Sijil Annual / Practising Certificate (“SAPC”) 2021.

Thank you.

A G Kalidas
Secretary
Malaysian Bar