Pakatan vows to fix judiciary if voted into power

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 13, 2012

PR lawmakers said it was essential to return to the courts the independence that was removed from it during the 1988 judicial crisis.

PETALING JAYA, Feb 13 — Pakatan Rakyat leaders today pledged to remove legislative amendments to restore the independence of the judiciary if the opposition pact wins the next general election.

Their remarks came as a response to former chief justice Tun Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah’s claims that the judiciary has become subservient after former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed clipped its wings in the 1980s when he amended Article 121 of the Constitution.

“Pakatan Rakyat’s stand is that we want a free, independent judiciary,” Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters here.

“It is essential for the restoration (of the judiciary) to pre-1988 (conditions)… restoration of judicial powers means a removal of amendments to Article 121,” added DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

Evidence of government control over the judiciary, said Anwar, could be seen from the “persecution” and “one-sided” judgments in high-profile cases involving opposition leaders, including himself.

“This has heavy implications… the decisions have been one-sided against political leaders,” said the Permatang Pauh MP.

Last week, Mohd Dzaiddin, who once headed the country’s courts, said the amendment was repugnant “because Parliament attempted to dictate to the judiciary that it only has judicial powers which Parliament itself says the judiciary has”.

He added that the judiciary should be completely independent of both the executive and legislative arms of government, and stressed that the courts should not be used as a tool for political expediency.

Mohd Dzaiddin pointed out that Dr Mahathir’s clashes over the roles of the two arms of government with then-Lord President Tun Salleh Abas led to the latter’s sacking in 1988.

In response, the former prime minister called Mohd Dzaiddin’s remark a lie.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Monday, 13 February 2012 - 11:06 pm

    Well done PR. Let us see your plans when you take over tenancy at Putrajaya. Beginning with the judiciary, is a good start. Please tell us more of your plans. GE 13 is coming. We need to know your plans for a better Malaysia.

    We need to change the tenant at Putrajaya. GE13 is coming. ABU. Let us get all to register to vote, and when GE 13 comes, to vote.

  2. #2 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 12:00 am

    Good because what is the point of having laws if the laws are not functioning ? People who make the laws should stick to the laws and activate them instead of bending the laws or not using it or using it only for their own benefit.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 12:13 am

    Mamakthir’s been calling people liars. I think he’s got too many mirrors in his house.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 12:32 am

    Pakatan vows to fix judiciary if voted into power. Hmmmm. This is an admission that the Judiciary then and even how is in dire need of fixing as it is defective.

    So the current team of judges are suspect and still cowed and subservient to the executive branch.

    It is confirmed. Now we understand.

    But remember. You can fix the car. But can you fix the drivers especially when they don’t want to be fixed?

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 1:22 am

    WHAT abt fixing C O R R U P T I O N?
    What happened in Kedah? Got jiak lui or not aah? PR behaved like UmnoB/BN aaah?

  6. #6 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 2:50 am

    ////…the former prime minister called Mohd Dzaiddin’s remark a lie…////.

    How can it be a lie when Lord President Salleh Abas and several other judges including the eminent jurist Eusoffe Abdoolcader were actually and unprecedentedly removed from the bench in 1988; when article 121 of the Federal Constitution that used to have the word “judicial power” of the Federation shall be vested in the High Courts of States of Malaya States of Sabah and Sarawak” was amended by removal of the words “judicial power” to become just “there shall be two High Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction and status, namely – into High Courts of co- ordinate jurisdiction and status, namely one of the States of Malaya and one in States of Sabah and Sarawak?

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 2:51 am

    The removal of ‘judicial power’ in article 121 under TDM’s watch was signal to the judges that they have no power to interpret the laws passed in BN dominated legislature differently from what the BN government said the laws meant and intended, and proof of that intent was what TDM said as quoted in the 24 November 1986 issue of Time magazine:- “The Judiciary says, ‘Although you passed a law with certain things in mind, we think that your mind is wrong , and we want to give our interpretation.’ If we disagree, the courts say, ‘We will interpret your disagreement.’ If we go along, we are going to lose our power of legislation. We know exactly what we want to do, but once we do it, it is interpreted in a different way, and we have no means to interpret it our way. If we find that a court always throws us out on its own interpretation, if it interprets contrary to why we made the law, then we will have to find a way of producing a law that will have to be interpreted according to our wish.”

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 3:03 am

    ///It is essential for the restoration (of the judiciary) to pre-1988 (conditions)… restoration of judicial powers means a removal of amendments to Article 121,” added DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.///

    Its involves more than just removal of 1988 amendments to restore “judicial power”. Restoration of “judicial power” will empower judges to review ministerial/executive decision which they otherwise do not seem to explicitly have. This is but one pillar necessary to uphold judicial independence…However the power to review does not guarantee the judges will exercise that power to review in a manner independent and just. For them to be independent- and here is the second pillar- judges must not only have security of tenure but more important their appointment and subsequent promotion must not be the sole prerogative of the Prime Minister/cabinet to decide. They must somehow incorporate the input and suggestions of the relevant stakeholders like the Bar Council, eminent ex judges of the past and civil society.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 7:45 am

    On Nordin Topless—
    “I am sad because a life is a life. What he did was wrong. We do not condone what he did. I am sad that we did not get to rehabilitate him.”

    On Kashgari —
    “I will not allow Malaysia to be seen as a safe country for terrorists and those who are wanted by their countries of origin, and also be seen as a transit county,”

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 7:49 am

    Yeah! Pakatan, if voted into power, must remove amendments to Article 121 to restore independence to the courts. Such restoration is long overdue.

  11. #11 by Winston on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 8:37 am

    #4 Sheriff, you’re right!
    Good insight!
    The problem is with the top management, the person or group
    of persons holding power in the country.
    You can bet that if that person wants to impose a government
    like what we have in the BN today, he’ll make sure that he’ll
    subvert everyone, be they the judges, police, army etc to
    support him.
    That’s perhaps why sometimes the judiciary and the armed
    forces in other countries rebelled and the latter even staged
    It’s not easy at all to have good governments all the time.
    For the simple reason that we are all humans.
    And humans can change.
    That’s why history has thrown up people like Hitler!
    Anyway, they make life more interesting, isn’t it!!

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 14 February 2012 - 10:24 am

    Do PR really even NEED to say this? The issue at hand is do PR need the judiciary to be fix in order to win Putrajaya – because its not going to be done for sure. The amount of cheating that has already taken place leading to the election and since there will be more time now, they are just going to do even more, the judiciary could be post-election drama if the cheating are found out..

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