Putrajaya inching towards RCI into judicial interference

Noel Achariam Ragananthini Vethasalam

The government has to accede to the wishes of the public, says Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre), at his Hari Raya open house in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Afif Abd Halim, June 5, 2019.

PUTRAJAYA will have to accede to the wishes of the public on setting up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate allegations of judicial interference, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 

“What is important is that the people want it, “ he said, at the prime minister’s Hari Raya open house in Seri Perdana, Putrajaya, today.

“I think they will start work soon (on the RCI).

Dr Mahathir was responding to calls for an investigation into Court of Appeal Judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s allegations widespread judicial interference and misconduct.

Former judge Gopal Sri Ram had suggested that instead of an RCI, the newly minted Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat should carry out an internal inquiry.

Gopal said it was inappropriate for an RCI to probe into the allegations as that would contravene the doctrine of separation of powers.

On what he thought of the argument, Dr Mahathir said his opinion was not important.

“Don’t ask me because I am entitled to my own opinions. I have to respond to public views.”

Hamid had alleged widespread corruption in the judiciary in an affidavit filed on February 14 in support of Sangeet Kaur Deo’s application to declare the chief justice had failed to defend the integrity and credibility of the institution in two alleged incidents of judicial interference. – June 5, 2019.

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  • Well said Tun. There are insidious elements within and without the judiciary, the AGC and even the Bar who would want to prevent this RCI because of self-preservation and vested interests. Public confidence in the judiciary and the legal profession cannot be restored by resorting to contempt powers and internal inquiries. Only an independent, impartial and objective public inquiry in the form of an RCI can investigate and make findings and recommendations to the government on the judiciary. Judges and lawyers who are corrupt or have compromised on their integrity deserve to be exposed and punished for their wrongdoings. Nobody is above the law.

    Posted 5 years ago by Gerard Lourdesamy · Reply