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Abdullah should clarify and assure Malaysians that his nominee for the Chief Judge Malaya and subject of the constitutional crisis with the Rulers is not the Federal Court judge who have at least 30 outstanding judgments accumulated from his High Court days
(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): In the modern democratic era of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance, the Malaysian public are entitled to information as to the causes of the constitutional crisis and impasse resulting from the deadlock between the Prime Minister and the Conference of Rulers over the filling of the seven-month vacancy of the Chief Judge of Malaya.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should not only provide Malaysians and in particular Members of Parliament this vital information, but also clarify and assure the nation that his nominee for the Chief Judge of Malaya and the subject of the constitutional crisis with the Conference of Rulers is not the Federal Court judge who have a backlog of at least 30 outstanding judgments accumulated from his High Court days which have yet to be written and delivered.
When Abdullah launched the National Integrity Plan (NIP) in May 2004, he said that “the integrity movement is comprehensive covering all levels or sectors of the government and society”.
There is also a section in the five-year plan, NIP Target 2008, on the enhancement of the administration of justice by the judicial bodies and institutions – a new national commitment on judicial accountability, transparency and integrity. The time has come to walk this talk.
Although the Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim is on public record as saying that judges with a backlog of written grounds of judgment would not be considered for promotion and there is a court directive that judges should complete writing their grounds within eight weeks of a trial if there is a notice for an appeal, it is most shocking that the newspaper report last month that there is a Federal Court judge who has “at least 30 outstanding judgments accumulated from his High Court days that include dadah trafficking and murder cases” (New Straits Times 23.7.07) had not elicited any denial, clarification or response from the Chief Justice.
This begs the question how the judge concerned could be promoted from High Court to the Federal Court and the criteria used for judicial promotions when he has such a huge backlog of outstanding judgments from his High Court days, causing grave miscarriages of justice.
The constitutional crisis and impasse resulting from the inability of the Prime Minister’s nominee for the post of Chief Judge of Malaya to get past two meetings of the Conference of Rulers since the retirement of Tan Sri Siti Normah Yaakob on January 5, 2007 is not just a private matter between the Executive and the Conference of Rulers but is also a matter of grave public importance for which Malaysians are entitled to the pertinent information.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman