KUALA LUMPUR: Only credible, honest and trustworthy citizens with a working knowledge of law should be appointed Justices of Peace (JPs).
The National Council of Justice of the Peace, Malaysia, has proposed this as an amendment to Subordinate Courts Act.
It has also proposed that a Select Committee appointed by Yang-di Pertuan Agung should choose the JPs.
The councils secretary Datuk M. Ramalingam said that the proposed amendment was in the Chief Justices office for their review.
He said that a proper selection process should be put in place so that qualified people were appointed as JPs.
The right candidate will be a person with proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia and English and have a minimum qualification of SPM.
The person must not have any criminal record or is not a bankrupt and must have an adequate legal background.
Ramalingam added that the person recommended should be one who had given outstanding and exemplary services with any NGO toward the betterment of society.
Speaking after the 10 biennial general meeting of the council, he said that there was a shortage of JPs in some states, as they had not appointed JPs for decades.
Johor has not appointed JPs for the past 36 years, Penang, 19 years, Pahang, nine years and Selangor in the past eight years.
In Johor, there are only 15 JPs aged 80 and above.
For this reason, there is a shortage of JPs in some states.
The councils newly appointed vice-president Datuk Michael Chong said that he hoped to serve the community better as a council leader.
There is a great need for JPs to help in community activities, said Chong who was appointed JP by the Selangor State for the past 11 years.
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