High time for RCI to investigate judicial interference, says Kit Siang

Lim Kit Siang today said it is imperative that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be formed to investigate judicial interference as alleged in the affidavit filed by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer last week. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Lim Kit Siang today said it is imperative that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be formed to investigate judicial interference as alleged in the affidavit filed by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer last week. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today said it is imperative that a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) be formed to investigate judicial interference as alleged in the affidavit filed by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer last week.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said the RCI will be in line with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s aim to restore public trust in all branches of government.

“The affidavit of Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer on judicial corruption and misconduct and the serious allegations of judicial interference in the court cases of former DAP Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, the  late Karpal Singh on his sedition appeal, the conviction and imprisonment of PKR President and MP for Port Dickson Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as well the case of Indira Gandhi have combined to make it most imperative that a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be set up into judicial independence and integrity in Malaysia.

“As the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has said that a Royal Commission of Inquiry is one of the options open to the government in the face of the serious allegations of judicial misconduct, it is most timely that such a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be set up to restore public confidence in the independence and integrity of the judiciary,” he said in a statement.

In an explosive allegation against the Chief of Justice, Hamid had in a sworn affidavit claimed a judge he named as “ARLC” had interfered in a majority decision in the proceeding to acquit the late DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh of his charge under the Sedition Act, leading Karpal’s sedition conviction to be upheld by the Court of Appeal.

His affidavit also claimed that a chief justice interfered with the promotion of some judges and those who made decisions contrary to his instructions had their career progression blocked.

Hamid’s affidavit was filed Thursday in support of lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo’s application to declare a chief justice’s failure in defending the integrity of the judiciary in two cases.