Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Measures For Malaysian Judiciary-Loss of Independence!

Has our Chief Justice got his knickers twisted? I would have thought having attained such a high position he should know better as to what the correct measure for quality is. Quality itself is unfortunately not something that is acquired when you get an ISO certification or similar or when you keep to the standards set by such certifying bodies. Anyone with any idea of what it is these certifications really indicate would know that this is no guarantee for safety!

The Sanlu Corporation of China would testify how it got fooled into complacency thinking since it has (presumably it has) the HACCP Certification that food manufacturing companies ought to have, that it was on a roll to profits and riches. Yet in a matter of weeks it all fell on its face when melamine in its baby's milk products were found to have killed babies and caused a lot of illness as well.

Read the report in The Star of 17 March 2008 below and see for your self what I mean:

Restore faith in judiciary


LANGKAWI: Judges must work towards restoring the confidence of the public and foreign investors in the judiciary, said Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi.

Judgements must be written fast and even posted on the judicial website. Criminal cases must also be heard quickly to avoid the accused being remanded for too long.

Zaki advised judges to change the way they think and work, and at the same time, learn to manage their cases better.

He reminded judges to stick to their case schedules and avoid any delays in hearings.

“The reduction in cases pending is not impossible to achieve,” he said when opening the Judges Conference 2009 here yesterday. The meeting ends on Wednesday.

Zaki also said measures were being taken to set up a special Commercial Court.

“We should handle commercial cases faster, with honesty and integrity so that we can woo more foreign investors into this country.

“The foreigners hope for fast decisions because they could lose a lot of money if the cases are delayed,” he said.

He added that the Justice Department had increased the number of judges in the Commercial Court in Kuala Lumpur and the Appeals Court to handle such cases.

He added that several efforts had also been made to enhance court management, such as the restructuring of registration in some courts.

“Management judges are also appointed nationwide to manage cases and oversee the management of courts,” he said.

He added that since having efficient case management, judges in the Kuala Lumpur High Court Special Powers and Appeals division now heard twice as many cases than before.

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So, restoring the confidence of the public and foreign investors in the judiciary to Chief Justice of Malaysia Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi means:

1. Judgements must be written fast and posted on the judicial website.

2. Criminal cases must also be heard quickly to avoid the accused being remanded for too long.

3. Judges must change the way they think and work, and at the same time, learn to manage their cases better.

4. Stick to their case schedules and avoid any delays in hearings.

5. The reduction in cases pending

6. Handle commercial cases faster, with honesty and integrity. (so that we can woo more foreign investors into this country)

7. Increase in the number of judges in the Commercial Court in Kuala Lumpur and the Appeals Court to handle such cases.

8. Enhance court management, such as the restructuring of registration in some courts.

9. Management judges appointed nationwide to manage cases and oversee the management of courts.

Now why do I feel like one very important measure is missing here?

What's happened to INDEPENDENCE you nut head? And what happened to just plain old upholding the law as is written?



3 Comments:

At March 22, 2009 at 4:39 AM, Blogger sambal muncha said...

Hi OF,

"Handle commercial cases faster, with honesty and integrity. (so that we can woo more foreign investors into this country)"

It's one of the reasons S'pore has become the hub in this region for MNCs. Malaysia cannot rely on cheap skilled labour alone for investment. We have to start looking at our commercial legal procedures to encourage FDI not only on goods but also of the service industry .

If we are able to prove to the world that we can handle commercial disputes efficiently, expediently and fairly, with sufficient supply of quality solicitors and barristers, only then we'd have a hope of competing with our neighbour below.

One only has to look at contracts, MOUs, LIs and agreements that are signed in the region of Asia and beyond; invariably the dispute clause will choose Singapore courts and laws as the jurisdiction. I often feel envious every time I see this (as I have over the years) not because of egoistic compulsions but because I know in my heart of hearts, Malaysia can really truly boleh.

 
At March 22, 2009 at 9:45 AM, Blogger Old Fart said...

SM
Couldn't agree with you more. I have myself signed agreements agreeing for foreign jurisdiction over the agreement. By the same token, I have where I can impose myself on it, preferred Malaysian jurisdiction, not because there was any sudden epiphany or something. It was sheer believe that if need be, a tall tale or preference for, bias or prejudice can be tempered with to give myself an advantage.

But then again should an efficient, competent and independent judiciary be predicated on the benefits it would bring? Shouldn't it be that an efficient, competent and independent judiciary be the final goal itself? Why should the benefits of these be the bother of the entire judicial system? When the judiciary surrenders or subordinates its goals to the benefits these are supposed to bring, this is when they are open to manipulation and be used. Does this explain the state of the Malaysian judiciary today?

 
At April 12, 2009 at 8:05 PM, Blogger sexyjudge said...

Dear OF,
Yes, you are right. It's all there. But maybe not seen until it is utterred. Perhaps, it is what the judiciary needs, a little bit of effort to get things going.

 

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