SUARAM would like to express our shock and outrage at the influence and decision by the Executive in blocking the appointment and promotion of senior judge, Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus due to his decisions against the government.
It took the judiciary years to recover from the impact of the explicit executive interference in the constitutional crisis of 1988. Through the years of effort, the judiciary of Malaysia finally manage to show the public its growing independence as one of the three branches of government. With the controversial decision such as those made in the 2nd Sodomy case against Anwar Ibrahim, the people’s faith have been shaken once again. With the current revelation, the public’s confidence in our judicial system would likely be shattered beyond repair.
Under the constitution of Malaysia, the Judiciary is supposed to act as one of the three branches of government and not an offshoot of the executive. It is deplorable that the executive would sanction judges who are unafraid of making legal decisions that are unfavourable to the ruling government. With such threat openly made against senior judges, how can Malaysian be sure that the rule of law would be upheld? Under such a threat, how can judges discharge their constitutional duties without fear and favour?
Despite such trying predicament, the Judges of Malaysia have shown their courage in the face of tyranny by preserving civil and political freedom guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. With this in mind, SUARAM would like to applaud the decision made by the high court in quashing the three month suspension on the Edge. We hope that the judiciary would stand fast in upholding the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and continue its exemplary defence of civil and political rights of all Malaysian alike.
With this in mind, we call for the executive to:
- Stop excessive influence and intervention in the appointment of competent judges to the Federal Court of Malaysia
- Grant the Judicial Appointment Commission full independence from the executive allowing them to appoint and promote judges without executive influence
- Issue a public apology for the undue influence exerted upon the judiciary and to the judges who suffered due to such influences