NON PARTISAN: President hopes for end to criticism
KUALA LUMPUR: THE Malaysian Bar yesterday welcomed the clarification that the government is not planning to establish an alternative body to usurp the Bar Council.
Its president, Lim Chee Wee, said he hoped the clarification by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would end recent attacks on the body's integrity.
Lim defended the tasks that governed the responsibilities of the Bar, which had been a subject of recent debate.
"In order to uphold justice, we express views on laws and policies, and work together with the government, opposition and civil society to shape policies that serve the common good.
"The Bar is engaged in activities associated with governance of the nation, but are not involved in any contest over political power," he said in a statement yesterday.
Lim said criticisms that the Bar should focus only on professional or internal issues failed to understand its role.
"We have to act for the greater good of society. Just because we uphold the rule of law, it does not mean we cannot criticise it.
"For instance, the Malaysian Bar had repeatedly spoken out against bad laws such as the Internal Security Act, which was repealed this year."
On accusations that the body was partisan, he said that the Bar Council had always acted "uninfluenced by fear or favour".