Malaysiakini

Look who's talking about judicial independence

YOURSAY ‘The chief justice is not helpless - he can use whatever powers he has left in his office to encourage the PM to follow the constitution.'

CJ urges PM to defend judicial independence


your sayAnonymous_4031: It is heartening to hear from the chief justice (CJ) that the rule of law must always be upheld; and the independence of the judiciary must be jealously defended and protected at all costs.

When this is done, the people will have confidence in the judiciary. In turn, it will promote confidence among investors, both foreign or local.

Investors who have grievances will know that they still have the judiciary to execute justice and fairness. It is for the well-being of the nation and its people.

When people are happy with the judicial system, they will accept the judgments made by the judges. That is the right way to go.

OMG!!: Judiciary independence is earned and not dished out.

If the chief justice still keeps pace with the laws, which he obviously has forgotten, he would recall that the independence of the judiciary under the Westminster model is due to the judges having the balls to stand up against a hostile executive, unlike in Malaysia when none of the judges dare to cite Dr Mahathir Mohamad for contempt for his relentless assaults on the judiciary during and after his tenure as the PM.

The situation is not helped by some corrupted judges who would sell off their brethren.

Kee Thuan Chye: The CJ should also say that Parliament must reinstate in the federal constitution the independence of the judiciary by reinserting Article 121. That is the statement of principle that recognises the separation of powers.

It was taken out by Mahathir in 1988. If PM Najib Razak wants to bring about reform, he must move to reinsert Article 121. In fact, it's not even reform, it's putting back what should be there.

Pemerhati: CJ Arifin Zakaria was one of the judges on the panels that according to law expert Abdul Aziz Bari turned the law ‘upside down' in the Perak cases and legally handed the state over to Najib's BN.

After that despicable behaviour by him and his other cohorts, most of them were on the fast lane to promotion. Now at a public forum, Malaysia's number one judge is trying to sound reasonable by making some suggestions that he knows full well will never be implemented by the top BN leadership as many of them have allegedly committed various crimes such as murder, rape and stolen billions of the people's money.

Only trusted judges like him and others, such as those who showed their loyalty to Najib and BN by turning the law ‘upside down' in the Perak cases, will be allowed to take on the cases which BN wants to win.

Starr: Clearly, it's the sworn constitutional duty of the prime minister to defend and uphold the independence of the judiciary and as such there should not be any interference from the other two branches of government (executive and legislative).

The judiciary crisis following the removal of lord president Salleh Abas has shaken the foundation of the government, resulting in massive loss of public trust and confidence in the administration.

Since then, the judiciary has been seen as a mere 'tool' of the executive. Attempts to repair and restore the independence of the judiciary have been haphazard and the road to full recovery is indeed a long and winding road ahead.

It's easier to destroy public confidence than to rebuild it once lost. This is perhaps a lesson of Mahathirism that the country should never forget.

Sinner: Mr Chief Justice, when he was in power, Mahathir had cowed the judiciary to such extent that when he said, "Jump", most of the judges would have asked, "How high?".

This was especially so after Salleh Abas was sacked by Mahathir in 1988. Some of these "compliant" judges are still on the bench. We need nothing less than a new government to exorcise this ghost of 1988.

Swipenter: What the CJ can do for judicial independence is to make sure that appointment of judges are free from any form of interference from the executive and these judges are not afraid to be independent of the executive arm of the government and dare to exercise their judicial powers without fear or favour.

Judges must rule according to the rule of law and not by law. As CJ, you are morally bound and responsible to defend the independence of the judiciary and not the prime minister.

Keturunan Malaysia: CJ Arifin Zakaria, the glaring fact that you are making this call shows that there is no real judicial independence.

Boiling Mud: Instead of calling upon the PM to do the unlikely and unthinkable, and if this CJ is any different from his predecessors, he should have the backbone to stand up tall to lead the defence of judiciary independence against the burgeoning executive.

After all, his post is appointed by the Agong. As a learned man (which I presume he is) of the law, he should know all the clauses in the constitution to do just that.

Failing this, the call is nothing but another hollow grandiose gesture for the sake of making a public speech. It takes one brave man to light the torch and the mass will help to carry it through.

Joe Lee: Let's give the benefit of the doubt to Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria. The chief justice is not helpless - he can use whatever powers he has left in his office to encourage the PM to follow the constitution.

He also has the support of the vast majority of civil society (sans Perkasa and other such gangster organisations); he can get the people to back him if he needs to confront blatant abuse of powers by the PM.

So what say you, Mr Chief Justice?

Anonymous #12566075: The Honourable CJ, please tell us if the PM refuses to carry out his duty to ensure separation of judiciary from legislative and executive arms as stated in our constitution, what alternative action do we have?

Onyourtoes: Justice Arifin, let's cut the long story. So do we have judicial independence or not today in Malaysia? If we do not, please quote instances where such violations have taken place.

What about you? Do you have responsibility to maintain judicial independence? If you have, may I know how are you living up to that responsibility?


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