PETALING JAYA: Senior lawyers have suggested peninsula lawyers to be allowed to practise in Sabah and Sarawak without a work permit to enhance national integration.
Lawyer Roger Tan said legal professionals in Sabah and Sarawak should adopt a progressive stance as integrating the legal systems and profession would ultimately benefit the nation.
Lawyer Datuk V. Sithambaram said for a start, conditions for an ad hoc admission to the High Court of Borneo – if a lawyer from the peninsula were to work in the two states – should be eased.
“It will be good in the long run to encourage lawyers in the two states and peninsula to learn from each other and stand together,” he said.
Currently, lawyers from peninsula can only practise in the two states if they meet the requirements, usually by way of obtaining a work permit and the ad hoc admission.
Lawyer Rosli Dahlan said the time had come after 50 years of the Federation for free flow of expertise especially given how the world was “shrinking” because of globalisation.
The Sabah Law Association and several lawyers in Sarawak said it was not a good idea to allow peninsula lawyers to practise in Sabah and Sarawak for now.
Association president Datuk Ganesh Naandy said if the restrictions were taken out, Sabah lawyers would be out of work.