28 August 2007

New chief judge to be named soon


KUALA LUMPUR: The new chief judge of Malaya is expected to be announced soon.

The Jalan Duta court complex houses all the magistrates’, Sessions and High Courts.
The Jalan Duta court complex houses all the magistrates’, Sessions and High Courts.
Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin over the appointment.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the matter had been resolved.

"We hope all parties will accept (the appointment) once the prime minister announces it. It has taken some time because Abdullah wants this matter to be accepted by all.

"There were points raised by the Conference of Rulers and Abdullah has looked into it," Nazri said after Tuanku Mizan opened the RM300 million Jalan Duta court complex.
The post of CJM was left vacant following the retirement of Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob on Jan 5.

Asked whether the Conference of Rulers had objected to the list of candidates submitted by Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, Nazri said it had not objected but had raised points about the candidates.

"It (raising points) gives real meaning to consultation. But whether they raised a point or not, we should not worry about it."

To a question about the criteria for the selection of a CJM, Nazri said it should not depend solely on judgment writing.

He said a judge should be considered on patience, capability in carrying out his duties and his ability to listen well.

The New Straits Times had reported on Thursday that a former High Court judge who is now in the Federal Court had failed to write grounds of judgment in 33 criminal and civil cases.

Nazri said the allegations against this judge had to be investigated.

On another matter, he announced that court complexes would be built in Kuantan and Kangar at the cost of RM45 million each.

He said the project was part of the RM534.5 million allocated for court development projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

It would be similar to the Jalan Duta court complex, which houses all the magistrates’, Sessions and High Courts.

Earlier, Nazri said the government had outlined strategies to ensure a judicial machinery that was effective in its administration and beneficial to the country’s development.

Among the strategies were providing physical infrastructure such as new courts, automation of the judicial administration system by using e-judiciary for case management, court recording transcriptions and the provision of supporting infrastructure such as Internet access.

Ahmad Fairuz said the new court complex would reduce postponements as all the different courts were under one roof.

"Lawyers or deputy public prosecutors can attend a hearing in one court and move to the next court to attend another case within this complex.

"This will ease postponements and help the court to dispose of cases faster."

Present were the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, Ahmad Fairuz’s wife Toh Puan Mazni Mohamed Noor, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Federal and Court of Appeal judges.

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