On the 8th of October 2005, a destructive earthquake hit the Northern parts of Pakistan. The Provinces of Kashmir and the North-West Frontier suffered the hardest. More than 73,000 people died, 100,000 were injured and over 3 million lost their homes. The city of Balakot is situated in the Kaghan valley in the NWF province, one of the places which was totally turned into ruins.
Our Mr Raymond Mah was part of a six-member technical team deployed by Mercy Malaysia as a relief team to oversee and facilitate the distribution of materials for building shelters for those who were displaced in December 2005.
The NLAF is governed by a Board of Directors chaired by the Attorney General. Other members are the Bar Council President, Secretary General of Treasury, the Director General of Legal Affairs Division, the Director General of Welfare Department, the Director General of Legal Aid Department, President of the Sabah Law Association, President of the Sarawak Advocates Association, a Dean of the Faculty of Law in public learning institution and two representatives from the non-governmental organisations to be appointed by the Minister.
The legal aid and advice in criminal matters will be given to all Malaysian citizens at the stage of arrest, remand and bail application. The means test will only be conducted for the purpose of determining who is eligible for legal representation at the trial stage.
The NLAF was established with a view to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford to engage a lawyer to argue their case in court. About 80% of accused persons brought to court for criminal cases have no lawyers to defend them.
Our lawyers and pupils-in-chambers regularly volunteer to assist in such matters.
On the morning of 19th December 2012, each one of us jumped out of bed eagerly to meet our “adopted children” for the day – children aged 6-14 from Myanmar – who are part of the Zomi Education Centre, Kota Damansara. The community have limited means financially and educationally.
According to the UNHCR, there are >80,000 Myanmar refugees in Malaysia, with the following needs:
If you would like to join us to help the Kota Damansara Myanmar community, please contact us to pass us school supplies, e.g. colour pencils, pencils, art block, exercise books, school workbooks, bags, rulers, socks, shoes etc. and food supplies which we will pass on to them. The school also has need for volunteer teachers for English and Maths.
We, and the children of the Zomi Education Centre, thank you for being a part of this.