It has not recovered since.
Except for some judges, notably Court of Appeal judge Mohd Hishamuddin Mohd Yunus who remains inspirational,
It is a damning indictment of the Mahathir regime's rather singular and successful assays to cow state and public institutions.
So much so that today, Bolehlanders generally see these institutions, rightly or wrongly, as largely partial and dysfunctional.
Now that Anwar is awaiting the outcome of his final Federal Court appeal against his conviction for sodomy, many of us Bolehlanders are wondering if the outcome will be a political or judicial one.
If you consider the submissions from both sides, you would have to lean more toward the one that says there is no nail to hammer in the coffin or go fly kite.
Unfortunately, one can't be too sure. especially given the controversial appointment of a lawyer as the prosecutor in the case and one that is perceived as the Pm's own private lawyer.
The question most of us are asking is whether the AG's Chambers was so bereft of capable DPPs as to need the service of a lawyer from outside the Chambers? After all, it was not as if the case called for specialist expertise lacking in the AG's Chambers.
And especially given the unusual gusto, confidence and inexplicable eagerness of the prosecutor to nail the case, who had even boasted that all he needed was just ten minutes to call it a day.
Well, in the end, he needed more like an hour in all? And still asked for more time to further submit on the difference between consent and submission in a sexual offence case, when Anwar's lawyers had wrapped up theirs.
As a hot shot legal eagle and a specially appointed prosecutor in the case, he should have had the foresight and most importantly, the skill, to have had anticipated what he needed to submit on and not had hoped for a second bite at the cherry.
Whether Anwar is acquitted or jailed, the losers won't be the opposition or the rakyat.
The real losers will be the dUMNo led administration.
If Anwar is jailed, more people will turn their backs on the dUMNo led government.
If Anwar is acquitted, the fight for change goes on with him at the helm.
Even if Anwar is incarcerated, the fight for change will still go on without him.
The only doubt whether come the next general election, the opposition pact will gain Putrajaya is the continued presence of the increasingly intractable Pas in Pakatan.
Anwar will have to deal with this.
My personal view is that with Pas still around as a coalition partner, Pakatan might just lose the last leg to Putrajaya.
It is better to let Pas go.
Rather than later.