KUALA LUMPUR: A review of a 15-year moratorium on law graduates will be carried out to determine if there are adequate lawyers in the country, says Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad (pic).
"The Ministry is carrying out a study on the impact and direction of legal studies in Malaysia to look at the impact of the moratorium on law graduates," she said.
"This includes identifying proposals to improve and strengthen law programmes that are being offered," added Noraini when replying to a question raised by Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Dec 3).
Noraini said that a 2017 study on the moratorium forecasted that Malaysia should have a ratio of one lawyer to 1,305 people in 2020 compared to a ratio of 1:1,857 in 2016.
She added that this ratio was comparative to the number of lawyers in the United Kingdom which has a ratio of 1:1,500 based on a population of 63.74mil.
She added the ratio of lawyers in the country was also comparative to that in South Korea (1:3,891) and Singapore (1:1,203).
Noraini said that 1,704 students obtained their law degrees from local universities in 2020.
Of this, she said 1,098 were graduates from local public universities while 606 were from local private universities.
On medical graduates, Noraini said that a total 2,967 students had obtained their medical degrees from universities in the country.
Of this, 958 obtained their degrees from public universities while 2,009 had graduated from local private universities.
She said this is still below the Health Ministry's target of having a ratio of one doctor per 400 people (1:400) by 2025.
However, she noted this is offset by graduates who obtained their medical degrees from abroad.
She said this is because these graduates are required to register with the Malaysian Medical Council to undergo mandatory service with the government.
At present, she said there was a quota to limit the intake of medical students at local universities to 4,820 students a year.