©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by Michele Chun
PETALING JAYA (Nov 29, 2012): The judiciary must continue appointing men and women of integrity and intelligence to the Bench regardless of race and religion, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan said.
In his keynote address at the International Bar Association's 3rd Asia–Pacific Regional Forum Conference on Tuesday, the ruler said in order for Malaysia to be successful, foreign investors must not only have confidence in the government but also in the legal system.
"Our neighbours across the causeway have been successful to a large extent in achieving this and we in Malaysia must endeavour to do the same.
"It is imperative that our judiciary consists of some of our country's brightest legal minds so that the jurisprudence in this country can grow along with the economic development that is taking place in Malaysia," he said.
Sultan Muhammad called on Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria and Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Makinuddin to consider calling on the "legal eagles of the Bar" to do "national service" and urged lawyers aged 60 to 70 to serve on the Bench if they are financially sound.
He also brought up the 1988 judicial crisis and reminded the legal profession and judiciary to "never, ever go back to the few years of darkness in our country's history".
While noting the importance of a strong Bar to act as a check and balance, Sultan Muhammad reminded the Malaysian Bar to remember its duties under the Legal Profession Act.
"It is imperative that the Bar works in conjunction with the government, attorney general's chambers and judiciary to ensure we have a strong and proud legal system.
"We shall not dwell on the past here today but we must learn from it so the same mistakes will never be repeated," he said.