'If you don't understand, you ask', says CJ in advising commenters to read judgment fully first

KUALA LUMPUR: It is unfair to make statements about a judgment without having full understanding of the court's decision, says Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.

The Chief Justice of Malaysia said comments made without understanding the judgment were based solely on sentiment and not on an understanding of the law.

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"It is not fair to be making statements on things you don't understand, that would bring chaos to anything if you say something which you do not understand.

"You don't have the basic knowledge, you don't have the full understanding, yet you're making statements about it.

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"That's not right," she said to reporters after attending the 2nd National Litigation Conference 2022 at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) here Saturday (Sept 10).

Tengku Maimun was asked to respond to statements by politicians attacking the judiciary after a five-member bench of the Federal Court, led by her, had on Aug 23, affirmed former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's 12-year-jail sentence for misappropriating millions from a company linked to state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

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Tengku Maimun advised people against jumping to conclusions without first understanding the judgment or consulting those who were more knowledgeable about the application of the law.

"My personal opinion is that the comments show their lack of understanding because they don't read the judgment.

"If they don't read, they don't understand, if they don't understand, they will make comments that are inappropriate and irrelevant to the issue," she said.

Tengku Maimun also said she was grateful to have the backing of the Malaysian Bar, which issued press statements to rebuke the attacks by the politicians.

"I'm very grateful because the Malaysian Bar has in fact issued press statements and they have explained the real positions why the cases were decided that way and also why politicians should not jump to conclusions or make statements.

"I'm very grateful for the support," she said.

Tengku Maimum added that her advice to the public would be to understand the court's decision by reading the judgment.

She also said that if they still failed to understand, they could consult those who were more knowledgeable about the matter.

"You ask the right people, don't simply jump to conclusions without fully understanding.

"That's the basic thing, isn't it? If you don't understand, you ask," she said.

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