KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 – The chief justice of Malaysia today stressed that judges will decide on court cases based on the law and evidence, and will not let fear or favour influence their rulings.
Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said that every judge must have qualities of integrity, competency and efficiency, and be always mindful that they are “not beholden to anybody or anything but the law”.
“Without these key qualities, justice would not be truly served and we would have failed in our duty.
“I reiterate our commitment to do justice according to the law, without fear or favour,” she said in her New Year message.
Reaffirming the Malaysian judiciary’s commitment to uphold the rule of law, Tengku Maimun also spoke of the independence that judges have in deciding on court cases.
“Court decisions are based on what the law says and what the evidence proves; there is no place in Court for suspicion, bias or favouritism.
“Judges and all judicial officers are free to apply the law without regard to the wishes of any particular group or the weight of public opinion,” she stressed.
“We will endeavour to guarantee liberty, to resolve legal disputes efficiently and impartially, to provide for equal protection to all regardless of background and to ensure the due process of law,” she added.
The top judge of the country said the Malaysian judiciary will remain strong and independent, and that it will continue its efforts to promote public confidence in the judiciary through court decisions and impartial court hearings.
Also in her new year message today, the chief justice spoke of upcoming digital innovation in Malaysia’s court processes, including plans to introduce online methods for accused persons to plead guilty to traffic summons brought before the court and to make electronic payment of fines online for such traffic court cases. Currently, traffic offenders have to physically attend court for such cases.
She also listed out the measures that will be strictly enforced from next year to save everyone’s time and ensure a more efficient process in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.
The full speech of the chief justice today for New Year’s Day can be read here on the Malaysian judiciary’s website in both Malay and English.