PETALING JAYA: Selangor residents in need of legal services will be able to get it for free come mid-August under the Selangor Legal Aid Fund programme.
This is via a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Selangor government and Malaysia Bar Council.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the programme, costing RM1mil, was also in cooperation with the Selangor Bar Council.
“There are the urban poor who need legal aid and they should also receive fair treatment and due process.
“This programme will take effect on Aug 15,” Amirudin told a press conference after launching the Petaling district-level Jelajah Selangor Penyayang programme in Laman MBPJ here on Sunday (July 24). Other districts covered by the programme are Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Kuala Selangor and Gombak.
Meanwhile, Selangor Bar chairman Kokila Vaani Vadiveloo said the Selangor Legal Aid Fund programme is approved by the Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).
She added that the fund would provide free legal services under three categories; family matters including custody, joint petitions and single petitions; employment matters; and matters of public interest.
“The Selangor Bar will be facilitating this programme over a three-year period,” she said.
Kokila Vaani said RM300,000 had already been disbursed for the programme, which will involve 7,352 lawyers based in Selangor.
“The RM1mil will be disbursed in stages, where lawyers will be paid in advance upon taking on the cases. The recipients of the legal aid need to have an individual monthly income of RM3,000 or less to be eligible,” she said.
She added that application forms could be accessed via the Selangor Bar website or through Selangor councillors and community leaders.
Malaysian Bar Council president Karen Cheah said the programme was a great move as there were many people in need of legal aid, especially when it came to civil matters and public interest.
“Access to courts and justice is important for everyone. This will start in Selangor and hopefully we can roll out to other states too. After the floods last year, we saw that many people needed legal aid, and (recipients) will be decided by the Selangor Bar Fund Programme main committee,” she added.