Absence of Bar Council at Judiciary year 2018 unprofessional

KUALA LUMPUR: The failure of the Malaysian Bar Council to attend today’s opening of Judiciary Year 2018 is regarded as “unprofessional” and giving it a bad image.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the Bar Council, comprising 17,000 legal practitioners in the peninsula, should have attended the event, which had become a tradition for legal practitioners in the country since it was first organised in 2010.

“The absence of the Bar Council at this annual event of the judiciary shows that they do not have respect for one of the branches of the government.

“The Bar Council should show the best example to legal practitioners in the country because their absence gives a bad image to the organisation,” she said in a statement here today.

Azalina said the Bar Council should have a high level of professionalism and not be bound by personal views.

“The excuse given by the Malaysian Bar Council in not attending the event was baseless because of this year, apart from the Bar Council, there was also no speech by the Attorney-General, but still he attended the event.

“In fact, the Sabah Law Association and also the Advocates Association of Sarawak also attended the event today,” she added.

Meanwhile, Azalina welcomed the speech by Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif at the opening of the event, with the theme ‘Enhancing Acces to Justice Through Judicial Transformation’.

She said the government was open in implementing various legal transformations, apart from ensuring the people had the best access to justice.

“Thank you for the commitment given by the judiciary towards efforts by the government, especially in ensuring cases that are registered at the Special Court On Sexual Crimes Against Children can be disposed of fast, apart from continuing with the E-Judiciary system to facilitate the process in the judicial service.

“This effort is in line with the aspiration by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who always gives high priority in the country’s legal transformation,” she said.