The Malaysian Bar said it was deeply concerned by Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's revelation that lawyers of a developer had hired a group of men to intrude and seize the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple, which subsequently led to a riot.
"The Malaysian Bar condemns in the strongest terms any involvement by any lawyer in unlawful actions, which would amount to gross professional misconduct and a serious breach of professional ethics," its president George Varughese said in a statement today.
Varughese called on authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of any wrongdoing.
"If there is evidence of any professional misconduct, the Bar Council will immediately lodge a complaint with the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board and prosecute the complaint to the fullest extent," he said.
The board, an independent body of the Bar Council, investigates cases of professional misconduct of lawyers and metes out appropriate punishment.
"The Bar Council stands ready to render assistance to the authorities in investigating this matter," his statement read.
Earlier today, Muhyiddin said investigation found that lawyers of One City Development Sdn Bhd, which owns the Subang Jaya land on which the temple sits, had paid RM150,000 for a group of men to secure the temple.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said the move to pay Malays to secure a Hindu temple was not thought through, describing it as an act by insensitive foreigners.
One City Development Sdn Bhd is owned by MCT Berhad, which in turn is owned by the Philippines-based Ayala Corporation.
The men who tried to secure the temple in the wee hours of Monday morning clashed with Hindu devotees, which led to a riot.
Thousands of people gathered near the temple the following day in a show of support, but fresh rioting broke out when Fire and Rescue Department personnel came under attack, with one landing one in intensive care unit.