In a Malaysiakini.com report today, Prime Minster Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has reprimanded the Malaysian Bar over its recent ‘Walk for Justice’ in Putrajaya, saying it should have anticipated the repercussions of its public protest against the state of the judiciary.
"(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,” he told some 500 lawyers and their guests.
"(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.
"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.”
Rightly so, Mr Prime Minister. The response from your de facto minister of law has worsen the public perception towards your government. Nazri Aziz has tried to shut out an open and transparent enquiry by an independent royal commission by announcing that the CJ was not involved in the case.
Until now, Ahmad Fairuz has not come out in the open to deny his involvement. Neither has VK Lingam, the senior law caught talking on his mobile phone in the video.
The Prime Minister should have anticipated the reaction of the Bar Council when initial responses to the issue were that of denial and irresponsible governance. It can be understood that any ruling government will try to curtail total freedom. But the nexus between the executive and the judiciary has been exposed in this video. That alone, without the Bar Council's walk for justice, would have done an irreparable damage to our country's credibility.
If you want foreign investors to trust us, set up an independent royal commision now! Otherwise, the lawyers must do their walk even if there is a need of a 10,000 persons march in near future.