Addressing a conference of Malaysian judges in Putrajaya earlier today, the Regent of Perak HRH Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah (photo) said the time is right for a "judicial renaissance" and to review the way judicial appointments and promotions are made. A significant call indeed from one of Malaysia’s most respected voices. (TheSun has the full text of his speech, here.)
Raja Nazrin Shah said that in the last two decades, judicial independence and integrity have been eroded. The result: lack of confidence in the judicial system and the complete disregard for the law by some quarters. "These are dark stains on our honour and reputations and they have the potential to weaken, if not destroy the nation," he said. "Until judicial power is reinvested in the judiciary in much the same way that executive power is invested in the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Cabinet, and the legislative power in Parliament, it will be difficult to convince anyone, not our citizens and not the world community, that we are a nation governed by the rule oflaw," he added.
In respect for the rule of law, which is a universal ideal, the Regent also quoted his father Sultan Azlan Shah, a former Lord President of the Federal Court:
"(The) right to be governed by laws and not by arbitrary officials is the most precious right of democracy—the right to reasonable, definite and proclaimed standards, which we as citizens can invoke against both malevolence and caprice."
For the record, de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim has also suggested that the government apologise for the sacking of Lord President Salleh Abas in 1988. He has now the support of the current Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad.
I am glad that we have enough sane voices advocating the rule of law for the sake of the nation and the rakyat while big time crooks posing as the powers- that-be quarrel amongst themselves to save their party and self interests.
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