Ex-Bar president calls for RCI into judicial misconduct claim

Former Malaysian Bar president Zainur Zakaria.

PETALING JAYA: A former Malaysian Bar president has called for an investigation into the recent allegations of judicial misconduct made by Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

Zainur Zakaria, who is a practising lawyer, said Hamid’s allegations were serious and could impact judicial integrity.

“I call upon the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate. They should leave no stone unturned,” he told FMT.

He added that the attorney-general should not hesitate to act against anyone if sufficient evidence is found.

“This allegation coming from a sitting judge must be taken very seriously because the judiciary is an important arm of the government,” he said.

Hamid, who filed the 65-page affidavit yesterday, said he had done so in order to uphold the integrity of the Federal Constitution.

He added that he had filed the affidavit at the request of lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo.

Sangeet, the daughter of the late Karpal Singh, is presently at loggerheads with Chief Justice Richard Malanjum.

She has filed an application seeking a declaration that Malanjum failed in his duty to complete investigations into two widely publicised cases of judicial interference.

The National Patriot Association, meanwhile, called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the issue.

“Even if it brings shame to our nation in general and the judiciary in particular, we have to be brave and welcome the RCI,” its president Mohd Arshad Raji said.

Rights group Lawyers for Liberty echoed the call for an RCI, saying Hamid’s disclosure proved Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “long-term interference in judicial decisions”.

“The interference was in favour of the then-BN government and its leaders and to the detriment of their opponents,” its adviser N Surendran said.

He said an RCI would provide immunity and protection to all potential witnesses, including Hamid himself.

In particular, he said, the “top judge” referred to as “ARLC” by Hamid must be identified and prosecuted if there is evidence against him.

He recalled how a top judge had reportedly interfered in a high-profile prosecution at the Shah Alam Sessions Court during BN’s rule.

“We believe this top judge may be the same ‘ARLC’ referred to by Hamid. We are prepared to provide all information to an RCI,” he added.