Government distributes RM10 million for YBGK

10 Jul 2023 12:16pm
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim - FILE PIX
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR- The government distributed a total of RM10 million in aid to the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK) to enable more people in this country to get legal aid and access to justice.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim explained that since it started operating in 2012, lawyers from the foundation have helped and represented hundreds of thousands of people in criminal proceedings.

"The government recognises that access to justice is a fundamental right, and I am ready to give serious consideration to the views of the Malaysian Bar Council in this matter," he said.

He said this at the International Malaysian Law Conference (IMLC) 2023, organised by the Malaysian Bar Council, at the Shangri-La Hotel here on Monday.

The conference was graced by the presence of Yang Dipertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir and Tunku Ampuan Besar Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Aishah Rohani Almarhum Tengku Besar Mahmud.

Meanwhile, Anwar said the time has come for a review of the Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 with a view to expanding protection and the avenues for disclosures to appropriate agencies without fear of punishment.

From the lessons of history, he said it was corruption and bribery that constituted one of the primary causes for the collapse of the Roman Empire, and subsequent empires as well.

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He said it was not just the existence of corruption but the scale and long-term global effects that should concern all.

"Much has been said about my so-called preoccupation with the issue of corruption and that not a day goes by without me shouting myself hoarse about waging war on corruption.

"While we have no empire as such, nevertheless our nation's history is marred by abuse of power and corruption no less.

"This scourge has permeated the fabric of our society, stymied our progress and national aspirations and undermined our foundations of good governance," said Anwar.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media later, Anwar said the abolition of the mandatory death penalty does not imply a possible increase in crime rates in the future.

"Death sentence still exists, just that it will not be automatically handed down in court, it must be decided by a judge. I believe that is fairer," he said.

On April 3, the Dewan Rakyat passed Act 846 (Abolition of Mandatory Death Penalty Act) which aims to abolish the mandatory death penalty, to vary the sentence relating to imprisonment for natural life and whipping, and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Under the Act, the court now has the discretion to impose the death penalty or imprisonment for a period of not less than 30 years but not exceeding 40 years, and if the death sentence is not imposed, whippings of not less than 12 strokes will also be handed down.

The Act came into force on July 4. - BERNAMA