PM must not pick JAC five


Rulers’ meeting: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (left), Tuanku Muhriz and other Malay Rulers arriving for the 260th Meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: The appointment of the five Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) members should not be done by the Prime Minister, says the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan.

Instead, other institutions such as the Malaysian Bar, the Sabah Law Society, Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Parliament Selection Committee should be tasked with the job, Tuanku Muhriz Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir said yesterday.

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Tuanku Muhriz, who chaired the 260th Meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara, said in his opening speech that this proposal would ensure the Judiciary and enforcement bodies were free of any external influence.

He also urged that the Rukun Negara be upheld, pointing to two important tenets.

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“I would like to pick two of the Rukun Negara tenets – Supremacy of the Constitution and Rule of Law. These two tenets are important in ensuring that enforcement bodies and the judiciary are free of any external influences in carrying out their duties.

“The Conference of Rulers is responsible for the appointment of judges in Malaysia. I see that the appointment of judges has some flaws that can be fixed.

“The JAC plays the main role in proposing the appointment of judges. Therefore, the membership of the JAC is critical to ensure judges with integrity and calibre are chosen.

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“The JAC currently has nine members. Four are topmost senior judges while the other five are individuals appointed by the Prime Minister. To ensure the JAC is free. I propose that the appointment of the five members is not made by the Prime Minister.

“Instead, that role should be given to other institutions such as the Bar Council, Sabah Law Society, Advocates Association of Sarawak, and the Parliament Selection Committee. With this method, the JAC membership would be more balanced and would not carry the interests of any party.

“I suggest that the JAC structure be relooked through discussions between the government, the current JAC members and the lawyers’ bodies as well as other stakeholders. This will enable individuals with better character and those who are transparent and fair to be appointed as judges,” he said.

The 260th Meeting of the Conference of Rulers, held for two days on Tuesday and yesterday, was attended by the Malay Rulers, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and heads of states.

In attendance were Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Perak’s Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Kedah’s Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah and Terengganu’s Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Pahang was represented by the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah and Kelantan by Tengku Mahkota Tengku Dr Muhammad Faiz Petra.

The meeting was also attended by Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, Melaka Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Mohd Ali Rustam, Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

The Malay Rulers were accompanied by their respective Mentris Besar, while the Yang di-Pertua Negeri were accompanied by their respective Chief Ministers, with the exception of Sarawak, where the Deputy Premier attended.

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