by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 6th September 1995:
Attorney-General Mohtar Abdullah should use his good offices and experience as former judge to initiate roundtable conference to resolve the latest Bench-Bar fracas and to restore public confidence in the judiciary
The latest Bench-Bar fracas and tension seems to have reached a stalemate with no solution in sight.
This stalemate is not good for public confidence in the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
The Attorney-General Mohtar Abdullah should use his good offices and experience as former judge to initiate a roundtable conference to resolve the latest Bench-Bar fracas and to restore public confidence in the judiciary.
This solution must address carious issues which had contributed to a new crisis of confidence in the judiciary, such as:
• The unconstitutional ‘leapfrogging’ of a High Court judge to act as a Federal Court judge, like a Police Inspector ‘leap-frogging’ over the post of ASP to act as a DSP;
• The independence and impartiality of the judiciary in handling commercial disputes;
• Court decisious and sentences on contempt and their eddect on the fundamental freedoms of free speech and expression; and
• The courts replacing voters to decide who should be an elected Member of Parliament.
I hope the Attorney-General will react positively to my suggestion that he mediate in the present Bench-Bar controversy to prevent a further deterioration in their relations or worsening in public confidence in the independence of the judiciary.