Yayasan Bantuan Guaman Kebangsaan (“YBGK”) or the National Legal Aid Foundation was incorporated on 25 January 2011 as a result of a decision made at a Cabinet meeting on 3 March 2010.
The suggestion of setting up the YBGK arose during a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Chairman and other members of the Bar Council Malaysia, which took place on 7 Jan 2010. During the meeting, the Prime Minister was informed that an estimated 80% of those tried in court for criminal offences did not have legal representation. With the formation of the YBGK those who cannot afford legal fees will be provided legal assistance by the YBGK. Lawyers who provide legal services through the YBGK will receive only nominal payments since providing such assistance is part of their social responsibility. To set up the NLAF, a launching grant of RM5 million is needed from the Government.
On the meeting held on 3 March 2010, the Cabinet agreed that the YBGK would be formed under the Companies Commission of Malaysia. As a consequence of this, a series of meetings involving the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), Legal Aid Department (JBG), Legal Affairs Division (BHEUU) and the Malaysian Bar Council were held to discuss the forming of the NLAF. The proposal was finalised on 11 Oct 2010 at a meeting chaired by the Attorney General of Malaysia.
The YBGK 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 Society, President of the Advocates Association of Sarawak, 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.
For more information on Yayasan Bantuan Guaman Kebangsaan, please refer to their official website: http://www.ybgk.org.my