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Bar: Special court must not focus solely on past corruption cases

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The Malaysian Bar supports Putrajaya's plans to set up a special court to hear corruption cases.

Its new president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, however, said such a court must not focus only on past corruption cases.

"We urge the government to ensure that the special corruption court must not have past corruption cases as their sole focus.

"The mandate of these specialised courts must be to mete out justice for offences, whether past, present or future," Fareed said in a statement today.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the special court will focus on clearing past corruption cases, in line with the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP). 

Among the pending cases, he added, are those that involve the construction of army camps to alter voter demographics in certain constituencies ahead of the last general election. 

Meanwhile, corruption cases against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak are still stuck in the case management stage and various appeals.

Fareed noted that special courts on corruption are not unprecedented, as several Sessions Courts had been set up to handle corruption cases in 2011.

There are currently 18 such special corruption courts.

"The rot of corruption must be stamped out. Any manner of dishonest or fraudulent behaviour undermines institutions and is antithetical to the rule of law.

"Acts of public corruption are a violation of public trust, and deprive citizens of state resources that should be used for public benefit instead of being pocketed for personal gain," he said.

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