Posts Tagged ‘Bar Council’

It Ain’t…All ‘Bout The Money

October 31, 2007

It’s all ’bout the money
It’s all ’bout the dum dum…….
And I don’t think It’s funny
to see us fade away
It’s all ’bout the money
It’s all ’bout the dum dum…
and I think we got it all wrong anyway

Been a long time since I heard this song by Meja but having read the Malaysiakini report on Pak Lah’s chiding of the Bar Council I think he needs to listen to the song a few times.

Here are some of my immediate thoughts to Pak Lah’s comments as cited in the Malaysiakini article (subscription required):

PAK LAH: (The) demonstration gives the impression that a problem has reached an intractable impasse, even when in reality, it has not. I believe it has not.

ME: Where are you getting your info from Pak Lah? The paper tiger Investigative Panel that can’t even compel any witnesses to give evidence? The Law Minister who doesn’t even have a clue what Bills are being tabled in Parliament?

PAK LAH: (It also sends negative vibes to domestic and foreign investors, undermining the tireless efforts of industry and government in attracting investments (…) the creation of negative perception, through over-reaching and unfounded public accusations, is difficult to overcome.

ME: What turns away more investors is how our government sticks its head in the sand whenever the phrase “judicial corruption” is uttered. Unthinkable? Did I ever tell you what I was told when I mentioned my aspirations to practice law in Malaysia? No? He said, “Don’t you know that when you go to court in Malaysia you don’t pay the lawyers, you pay the judges?” This was way before any protest by lawyers…back when the only Lingam I knew of was Lingham’s chilli sauce (which incidentally is perfect for keropok).

PAK LAH: “Even on its own, these damaging perceptions can potentially be all that it will take for us to fall behind other countries in this increasingly competitive global environment.”

ME: OK…so apart from sweeping issues under the carpet what are you doing to correct these damaging perceptions? Don’t you think that a visibly rigorous and transparent investigation would do more to correct those damaging perceptions than anything else? In fact, such an investigation may even vindicate Tun Ahmad Fairuz by revealing that the suspicions raised about him are entirely baseless – defamatory even! What better outcome could you ask for?

You are right Pak Lah – it’s time to correct those damaging perceptions. So please do the right thing.

However, the need to ensure that we have a clean judiciary shouldn’t just be relevant in the context of how it affects our country’s international standing as an investment destination. In other words it shouldn’t just be ’bout the money. At a very fundamental level the courts are intended to regulate the relationship between the government and the citizenry. If there are allegations that judgements are skewed through the granting of favours or money to judges then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those allegations need to be thoroughly investigated immediately.

To Ambiga, I may only be aspiring to be a member of the Malaysian Bar but for what it’s worth you have my full support on this Madam President!

Finally, this song goes out to both Ambiga and Pak Lah…take it away Meja!