C - Political Reform C00. POLITICAL REFORM

C09. Restore public trust in the judicial and legal institutions

In progress
May 2018

Council of Eminent Persons forms committee on institutional reforms

The Edge May 15, 2018

The Council of Eminent Persons, which was established on May 12 to advice the government of Malaysia on economic and financial matters, has formed a committee on institutional reforms. In a statement today, the council said economics reform on its own cannot bring the desired change, unless accompanied by institutional reforms.

“The institutional reforms committee will present its findings and recommendations to the Council. The Council will then present its report to the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” it said. The committee members consist of: 1. Retired judge of Court of Appeal Datuk KC Vohrah; 2. Retired judge of the Court of Appeal and Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai; 3. National Patriot Association President Brigadier General (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji; 4. University Malaya Tunku Abdul Rahman Professor of Law Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi; 5. Hakam President Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan

Proposal to be presented to cabinet in 2 months

May 2018

Restore public trust in the judicial and legal institutions


The judicial and legal institutions are an important check and balance mechanism in the country. These institutions must be independent and they must have integrity, so that they are trusted by the people. But UMNO and Barisan Nasional continue to plunder public trust in these institutions. The Pakatan Harapan Government will ensure the appointment of judges are based on merit and experience, regardless of political interest. The power of the Prime Minister to influence the appointment of judges will be removed so that there can be no abuse of power. Membership of the Judicial Appointments Commission will be decided by a Parliamentary Select Committee. The decision of this Committee will be implemented after referring to the wisdom and discretion of the DYMM Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Rulers’ Council. We will ensure that the salaries, allowances and remuneration accorded to judges, including judges of the Syariah Court, are commensurate to their professionalism. The appointment of the Chief Justice and the President of the Court of Appeal through the backdoor as practiced by UMNO and Barisan Nasional will be stopped immediately. To ensure people fully trust the integrity of decisions made by the courts, a new rule will be introduced so that judges must provide written judgments each time they announce their judgement. If necessary, the judge can issue a brief written judgement first, before the full version is released.