Judges with doubtful sources of assets to be referred to MACC

PUTRAJAYA, The Judiciary will refer to the relevant authorities including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for follow-up actions if the source of asset acquisition of a judge is doubtful and if there is evidence it is illegally acquired, says Chief Justice Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.

She said the Judiciary would not compromise or protect any judges or judicial officers involved in corruption or other serious offences.

I wish to stress that the Judiciary takes a serious view on allegations of corruption said to have taken place among judges especially at the lower court, said Tengku Maimun.

She said actions would also be taken against any judge who failed to comply with the Chief Justice’s Circular requiring judges to declare all their assets.

Similar instructions were also given to Chief Registrars on asset declaration by judiciary officers.

The Judiciary had taken various preventive measures as an effort to combat corruption, said Tengku Maimun when speaking at the taking of the oath of office and loyalty by 14 judges.

Tengku Maimun said there was a rumor about a judge’s misconduct that was unrelated to the decision of a case, but she had not receive any written complaints about it.

I assure such complaints if valid, would be acted upon by the Judiciary with the cooperation of the relevant parties to investigate and find the truth.

In her speech, Tengku Maimun also reminded all judges to avoid close ties with members of the legal profession such lawyers, deputy public prosecutors and federal counsels who have cases before them.

It is inappropriate to invite them into the judge’s chambers without the presence of other parties even though they are close friends of the judge, she said.

Tengku Maimun said such matters may create suspicions or sense of favouritism.

I have received reports that such matters occurred at the Magistrate’s and Sessions Courts. I want such liaisons to stop immediately, she said.

At the ceremony, Federal Court Judge Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed took his oath of office and loyalty as the Chief Justice of Malaya.

Meanwhile, 13 other judges also took their oaths of office and loyalty as judges of the Federal Court , Appeal Court and High Court.

Two Court of Appeal judges, Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli took their oaths as Federal Court judges, while four judges namely Datuk Lee Swee Seng, Datuk Azizah Nawawi, Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera and Ravinthran N. Paramaguru were sworn in as Court of Appeal judges.

Meanwhile, seven judicial commissioners comprising Datuk Roslan Abu Bakar, Datuk Abdul Wahab Mohamed, atuk Hassan Abdul Ghani, Chan Jit Li, Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin, Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh and Datuk Khadijah Idris were appointed High Court judges.

When met by reporters after the oath taking ceremony, Tengku Maimun said the judiciary would issue reminders to judges and officers to always adhere to the code of ethics that they have to be clean.

She also said the judiciary is trying to tighten the process of declaring assets so that judges who acquire new assets need not wait for three years to declare their assets.

She said there is a 100 per cent compliance by judges on declaring their assets.

“We need to monitor because based on the circular, it has to be done once in every three years,” she said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)