Boycotting the courts among measures proposed

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 01 Nov 2007

KUALA LUMPUR: Boycotting the courts is among the measures suggested at a legal forum to push for a clean up of the judiciary. 

A longer-term measure involved going to the ground to explain to the people the importance of a clean and independent judiciary. 

The forum “We watched, We walked, We now ... do what?” on the last day of the 14th Malaysian Law Conference focused on issues raised in the video clip that shows a senior lawyer apparently brokering the appointment of judges with a senior judge. The session commenced with a showing of the clip on a large screen in the plenary theatre at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. 

Lawyer Haris Ibrahim, who had recently submitted a petition to the King containing 5,036 signatures from the public for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the video clip, said Malaysia was at a crossroads. 

He said something drastic would have to be done if a meeting between Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan and the Prime Minister on the issues raised by the tape came to nought. 

“There’s no other way to drive the point home that, if we don’t clean up the judiciary, we will not partake in a system that has become so tainted,” he said. 

He suggested the Bar move a resolution for this at its extraordinary general meeting scheduled for Nov 22. 

“If not, I don’t see any way else that can help us get out of this quagmire that we find ourselves in now,” he said to a roar of approval from the participants. 

Recalling the start of the slide in public confidence in the judiciary 20 years ago, Instant Cafe Theatre director Jo Kukathas read from the book May Day For Justice written by her father, acclaimed journalist K. Das. 

In it, sacked Lord President Tun Salleh Abas tells how the Supreme Court doors and seal were locked to scupper his efforts to stop the tribunal investigating him for misconduct in 1988. 

Earlier, lawyer Fahri Azzat said corruption did not often bring physical harm but the “bodies” would be seen 20 to 30 years later in the form of corrupt institutions.  

Related Stories:Lawyers cast gloom on state of constitution, blame judiciary and Parliament Rulers to discuss CJ’s position 

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