KUALA LUMPUR: The special court for sexual crimes against children will not be closed, but instead will be expanded to other states, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
In fact, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong said, the Federal Court Chief Registrar’s Office was preparing to set up such courts in Selangor, Pahang and Johor.
He said such a court had been operational in Putrajaya since June last year and in Kuching, Sarawak, since April 18, this year.
“The Federal Court Chief Registrar’s Office has never planned to close the court and right now, both the courts (in Putrajaya and Kuching) are operating as usual.
“The rumour that I will announce the closure of the special court is not true,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address for his ministry today.
The establishment of the court which aimed at increasing the efficiency of hearing cases of sexual crimes involving children was in line with the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 which came into force on July 10 last year.
The court focuses on cases such as child pornography, child grooming and child sexual assault.
In another development, Liew explained that the appointment of Chief Justice Richard Malanjum to replace Md Raus Sharif was done according to the provision in the Federal Constitution and that there was no issue of executive interference in the judiciary of the country.
In response to Ramkarpal Singh (PH-Bukit Gelugor) who wanted to know whether there was an issue of Malaysia having two chief justices at one time as Richard was appointed on July 11 while Md Raus’s resignation took effect on July 31, Liew said the issue did not arise.
“The resignation of Md Raus had taken effect on July 10, one day before the appointment of Richard Malanjum.
“This was because the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong automatically replaced the aforementioned date of Md Raus’s resignation on July 31, 2018.
“So, there was no issue about having two chief justices at one time, as the appointment of the new chief justice was made after the resignation of the previous one in accordance with the provision in the Federal Constitution,” Liew said.