Suhakam recommends Judicial Ombudsman to probe judicial misconduct

Razali said Suhakam is concerned over the shocking claims contained in an affidavit filed by Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Razali said Suhakam is concerned over the shocking claims contained in an affidavit filed by Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has recommended the creation of a Judicial Ombudsman to investigate allegations of misconduct by judges or judicial officers.

In a press statement today, its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the body was concerned over the shocking claims contained in an affidavit filed by Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, accusing top judges of interfering in judgements and scamming the government.

“Suhakam recommends the creation of a Judicial Ombudsman with an effective complaints handling structure that may investigate any allegation of misconduct of Judges and/or judicial officers,” said Razali.

Furthermore, the body also called for the authorities including the police and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to immediately investigate the claims and determine if criminal charges may be preferred against the alleged wrongdoers.

Razali also said that remedial steps including punitive action, if anyone is found guilty, must be taken so that reputational damage and public erosion of trust in the judiciary is corrected.

On the calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) by various parties, Razali said the outcome of the investigation must have teeth and contains actionable recommendations.

“While Suhakam takes note of the many calls to set up a RCI which can be supported, Suhakam emphasises that the outcome of the RCI must contain actionable recommendations that will assist in a systemic change, as the rule of law will not exist even in Malaysia Baharu unless there is an independent and impartial judiciary to protect it,” he said.