KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Oct 2008: The government spent RM81,965.75 on the Malaysian Bar Council dinner at an upscale hotel here in April, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the government agreed to bear the cost as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was also feted at the dinner.
Mohamed Nazri said this in reply to a question by Wee Choo Keong (PKR-Wangsa Maju) who wanted to know the government’s rationale for footing the bill.
He denied Wee’s claim that the government’s move was aimed at garnering support and seeking compliments.
“Such talks are not true. A professional body that wishes to organise a dinner will surely invite the ministry concerned.”
He added that the government move was aimed at repairing ties with the Bar Council.
“When I first took over as the minister responsible for law, everybody knew that ties between the government and Bar Council were not good under the previous Prime Minister.
“Our judiciary has to be in good condition to instill confidence in the people and the outside world. This can be done by avoiding quarrels and clashes between the Bar Council, the judiciary and the government.
“Although I am not a practising lawyer, I feel responsible about bringing lawyers and the government close together,” said Mohamad Nazri. — Bernama