PUTRAJAYA: State governments have been advised to stop appointing Justices of Peace based on political considerations as such a practice could tarnish the status of the JPs.
Minister in the Prime Ministers Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said unless the criteria used by state governments in choosing candidates were changed, the status of JPs might fall into disrepute.
Candidates must only be considered among those who are truly of good character with solid background in charitable and public service.
The appointment of JPs from among those whose contribution to public service is limited to donating money for needy causes or any other trivial reasons is not a tradition that we can be proud of, he said at his office yesterday.
He earlier witnessed the presentation of a cheque for RM33,801 from the MCA public services and complaint bureau to acid attack victim Salehatun Mohd Salleh, who was attacked in Shah Alam last year, to finance her eye surgery in Singapore.
Apart from the upcoming cornea operation to correct her eyesight, Salehatun, 23, who had already undergone two operations in Aug and Sept in Singapore last year, also needed more plastic surgeries to correct her badly scarred face.
Rais said he realised such a statement would not go down well with the state governments but he felt it was necessary to prevent the status of JPs from being tarnished.
Rais also said the Government had approved the proposal to appoint legally qualified JPs as Second Class Magistrates and was drawing up the rules for its implementation.
He said the rules which were being drafted by the Attorney-Generals Chambers were expected to be ready within the next two months.
The rules, he said, would determine JPs' functions and roles in terms oftheir quasi-judicial responsibilities.
Of the 3,000 JPs in the country, about 300 of them are legally qualified to be appointed as Second Class Magistrates, he said.