The increment in wages for top judges is adequate and is directed to prevent corruption, said an opposition lawmaker.
Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah told Malaysiakini that he, however, did not know that the wages were backdated to July 1.
“The salary increment is adequate and when it was brought to parliament sometime between the November and December session last year, there was not much debate.
“This is because we agreed that their wages should increase to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
“It was meant to prevent corruption and to have our judges’ wages to be near or at par with their Singapore counterparts.
“The salary of the top judges should be higher than the prime minister to maintain their integrity and independence,” said Sivarasa, who is also a practicing lawyer.
The PKR parliamentarian was asked to comment on the pay hike for senior judges , with the exception of Sessions Court judges, following the gazette of the Judges Remuneration (Amendments to the First and Fifth Schedule) Regulations 2016.
It was reported that the pay hike affects the chief justice, president of the court of appeal; chief judge of Malaya; chief judge of Sabah and Sarawak; and judges from Federal Court, Court of Appeal, and High Court; as well as High Court judicial commissioners.
In the case of judicial commissioners, the amendment in the fifth schedule states it is replacing the figure RM16,200.21 with RM25,500, suggesting an increase of more than RM8,000.
Sivarasa said with this increase, judges should now give true justice and those who are alleged to be engaged in corrupt practice should be brought to the book.
Senior judges can only be removed by a tribunal, which can be called to inquire over their conduct following allegations of corruption.