Disember 3, 2008 oleh HermanSamsudeen
NST : KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer yesterday called on the Bar Council committee members to resign over the council’s acceptance of more than RM80,000 in sponsorship from the government for a dinner in April.
Karpal Singh said the council had brought ignominy not only on itself but on its 13,000 members.
“By placing itself in a position of indebtedness to the executive for a mere dinner, the Bar Council cannot operate from a high moral ground any more. I call on the council to tender its resignation for bringing the entire legal profession into disrepute,” he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
He said it was interesting that the government footed the bill amounting to RM81,965.75 for the dinner hosted by the council for its guest-of-honour, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“It is difficult to comprehend how the guest had to foot the bill instead of the host. To make matters worse, the bill was settled not through Umno or Barisan Nasional funds but from public funds.”
He said the council should play the role which was played by members before the amendment brought about by Section 46(A) of the Legal Profession Act 1976 in 1977 prohibiting members of parliament or state assemblymen from holding office in the council.
He said in view of the obvious weaknesses of the Bar Council, the government should repeal Section 46(A) to enable MPs and state assemblymen to inject responsibility and honour into the council.