Barisan Nasional lawmakers have called for the retabling of the Malaysian Academy of Law Bill 2002 to allow for a new body to act as an alternative to the Bar Council.
Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjung Karang) proposed the setting up of the new body to represent lawyers as he claimed the Bar Council had become a "mouthpiece of the Opposition".
"Before, there was a Malaysian Academy of Law Bill aimed at formulating an academy for legal excellence and encouraging social interaction among lawyers.
"However, due to the Bar's objection on the grounds that the Bill was inconsistent with the Legal Professions Act, it was retracted," he said when debating the royal address in Parliament yesterday.
He alleged that the Bar Council had become political as it was always making statements that were seen as pro-opposition.
"The Bar Council is no longer free. Instead it has become a political tool of the opposition. It has made several statements which it should not have made," he said.
He urged the Government to re-table the 2002 Bill so that there would be a more independent body taking care of the welfare of those in the legal profession.
"Bring back this Bill and this time, let's not be afraid and bow down to the Bar Council," he added.
Noh also claimed the Bar Council had deviated from its original goals and called for stern action to be taken against those who insulted the judiciary.
"If the Bar Council cannot honour its own words, then it is a body that we do not need to respect anymore," he said.
Datuk Bung Mokhtar (BN-Kinabatangan) concurred, saying it was no longer relevant and called for a reformation of the Bar Council.