|Bar Council to help MACC probe on judges|
|Monday, 21 January 2013 08:58am|
©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by Pauline Wong
PETALING JAYA (Jan 20, 2013): The Bar Council will reveal to authorities any serious hint of corruption within the legal fraternity and will take firm action in eradicating corruption in the justice system.
Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee pledged the Bar's commitment to not only eradicating corruption, but any allegation or perception thereof.
"The Bar Council will reveal to the chief justice and MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) any serious hint of corruption and any evidence which it becomes aware of, and will offer all assistance to them to ensure that our final arbiters of justice are not influenced by, nor interfered with money, favours or intimidation," said Lim in a statement on Friday.
He said this in view of allegations of corruption involving "millions of ringgit" against a retired Appeals Court judge.
"I had a productive and frank meeting with the MACC chief commissioner, Datuk Seri Abu Kassim regarding the allegations of corruption against a retired Court of Appeals judge and other potential cases involving others in the legal system.
"The relevant documents for two cases were provided to the MACC for investigation and we are assured that any corruption in the legal system will be investigated thoroughly," Lim said of the meeting on Thursday.
Lim also urged the government to resolve any constraints faced by the MACC, whether in resources or legislation.
"It is here that the Bar calls on the government to provide all necessary tools to the MACC to fulfil its vision, and that of all right-thinking Malaysians, of creating a corrupt-free Malaysian society," he said.
His 2,500-word long statement also suggested reforms within the MACC, including increasing qualifications of MACC investigating officers, increased surveillance in interrogation rooms and better treatment of witnesses.
Lim also proposed that a provision on possession of unexplained assets be included in related legislation.
"Our laws must include a new offence which criminalises an officer of a public body having disproportionate assets or lifestyle, compared to his salary or income," he said.
Lim added that declaration of assets by holders of public office (and their relatives and spouses) must be made compulsory, and must carry with it a criminal liability should the declaration be false, to fight corruption.
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