PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz is opposed to the Government’s proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 (LPA).
Speaking to the Star Online on Saturday, Nazri said that attempts to do so by the Government was “futile” adding that such a move would benefit no one.
“If you want to monitor, monitor on what? After all, this monitoring system is a very old system.
“If the country was just post independence, we do this, it is understandable. But we are now in 2016,” said Nazri who is also the Tourism and Culture Minister.
Nazri warned that the Government would only end up being blamed for interference and for causing fear within the Bar Council.
He added that such an act would also be detrimental to Malaysia’s freedom of expression.
Nazri also said that the Bar has always been critical even during his term as Law Minister.
“It has not weakened the Government in any way. We are still here; we are stronger and to me, let them be,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nazri also said that he was against proposals to change the Bar’s system of election.
“We shouldn’t be interfering in how they want to run their association and all that. Every association should be given the freedom to do what they want to do within the limits of the law,” he said.
In August, de-facto law minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had said that the proposed amendments to the LPA would only seek to address ‘bread and butter issues’ like legal exams and the ability of all legal practitioners to speak and read English.
Azalina’s comments were in response to Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru’s claim that the proposed amendments were an unwarranted interference in the self-regulation and internal management of the Malaysian Bar.
Thiru pointed out that among the amendments was the proposal that two members of the Bar would be appointed by the Law Minister for the purpose of representing the Government.
“The amendments will also empower the said minister to make rules and regulations in respect of the conduct of the elections to the Bar Council and of the Office Bearers of the Bar,” he said.
In response to Thiru’s claims, Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali said the amendment was to make the Bar more transparent.
He reiterated that the Government did not have any intention of controlling the Bar and, in fact, is much more open to criticism.
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