Legal bodies hope CJ will continue with reforms

(From left) Malaysian Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, Sabah Law Society president Brenndon Keith Soo and Advocates Association of Sarawak president Ranbir Singh Sanghar.

PUTRAJAYA: The Sarawak legal profession hopes that Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat will continue with the reforms laid out by her predecessor for the judiciary.

Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) president Ranbir Singh Sanghar said some reforms have taken place under former chief justice Richard Malanjum during his one year in office.

“It’s my fervent hope that the reforms will continue under the tenure of the chief justice,” he said at a ceremony marking the appointment of Tengku Maimun at the Federal Court room here today.

Ranbir said that among the reforms were the commitment to consult the Advocates Association of Sarawak, the Sabah Law Society (SLS) and Malaysian Bar on the appointment of judges and judicial commissioners, and the creation of a consultative committee among the judiciary, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the three legal profession bodies to voice concerns and views.

Malaysian Bar president Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, who concurred with Ranbir’s statement, said the Bar hoped Tengku Maimun can carry out her work to “erase any historical blot on the judicial landscape”.

“We are with Your Ladyship to ensure the efficient and effective administration of justice, in fulfillment of the roles and responsibilities of each institution,” he said.

SLS president Brenndon Keith Soh said the Sabah legal profession hoped there would be regular communication between the bench and legal bodies to uphold the image of the profession and the judiciary.

“In the age of social media and instant online commentary, we recognise that there can be undue public pressure on the judiciary and indeed on a judge both before and after the making of a decision.

“Unwarranted or unsubstantiated criticism by the community on a decision would not enhance accountability if it is based on a deficient understanding of the facts, issues or the relevant law,” he said.

Tengku Maimun was named the chief justice on May 2 after her appointment was consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

She replaced Richard Malanjum as Malaysia’s 16th chief justice upon his retirement.