Source: Parliament panel still weighing RCI on judicial abuse

Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer attends the International Malaysia Law Conference in Kuala Lumpur August 16, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer attends the International Malaysia Law Conference in Kuala Lumpur August 16, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Parliament’s Reforms and Governance Caucus is still deciding if a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is needed to investigate a senior judge’s allegations of abuse and interference in the judiciary, said a source.

The person told Malay Mail the caucus, chaired by Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, will meet again next month just before Parliament reconvenes.

“So, right now there's no proposal to the Prime Minister's Office or Cabinet yet. Maybe they will announce it during the next meeting," said the source.

On February 18, the deputy chair of the caucus, Lim Kit Siang, suggested an RCI be formed to investigate Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s allegation that senior judges intervened in the decision of numerous trials.

Lim said the caucus shared Malaysians’ concerns over the grave claims.

However, the source clarified that the suggestion was to discuss the issue in the caucus after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would study and proposal to establish the RCI investigating the matter on February 15.

Media reports claimed that the Cabinet decided yesterday to form the RCI.

Hamid made the allegations in an affidavit in support of Sangeet Kaur Deo's lawsuit against current Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum.

The daughter of the late Karpal Singh filed the lawsuit as her father’s sedition case was among those in which there was alleged interference.

Only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is authorised to empanel a RCI on the advice of the prime minister. The Agong also has the prerogative to decide if the inquiry should be public.

He will also determine the number of commissioners, the place and time when the inquiry will be held and its report submitted, and the manner the inquiry will be executed.