Read here related articles
- "Recent Cases Showed Why Appointments and Promotions of Malaysian Judges Must Be Reviewed and Questioned "
- "MALAYSIA 's Fumbling Modernity" by Dr Farish Noor
- "Malaysia's Untenable Future: The Clash between Modernity and Religious Supremacy"
- Racial/Religous Composition of the Judges in the Malaysian Judiciary
Read here article in Malaysiakini (August 2007)on interview with retired Judge K.C. Vorah.(Judge Vohrah retired in 2002)
Excerpts: Read here for more
".. Some legal practitioners have observed a pattern of judgments in recent cases involving apostasy and conversion.
They noted that Muslims judges tend to rule in accordance to their FAITH while non-Muslim judges who sat on the same panel are likely to dissent the judgment based on one’s rights under the Federal Constitution.
Retired Court of Appeal judge KC Vohrah reminded judges that they are bound to execute their duty in accordance to law and the Federal Constitution regardless of their beliefs.
... the message from an ex-judge to his former colleagues who worry they will rule against their conscience in controversial religious cases is - if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Judge Vohrah said:“If you feel it’s against your conscience to do something, then DON'T become a judge.”
He cited two cases:
On Judicial Commission for Appointment and Promotion of Judges
- A Catholic Judge
A highly-respected Catholic judge - whom he did not name - was asked to hear divorce cases.“In the Catholic faith, divorce is NOT permitted. when (the catholic judge) was asked to sit in divorce cases, he pronounced the divorce. (This is) because he upheld his duty when he took an oath under the Constitution to execute the duty in accordance with the Constitution'.
- Former ACA Director-General Zulkifli Mahmood
Former Anti-Corruption Agency Director-General Zulkifli Mahmood served the agency between 1987 and 1994 was offered the post of judge in the 80s.“He declined. You know the reason? He said because as a Muslim, he didn’t believe in capital punishment and if he accepted the post, he would have to sit as a criminal judge then it will be against his conscience.
That was many years ago and some friends of mine had also declined (such offer) on the same ground.”
Judge Vohrah reiterated the necessity to establish an independent judicial services commission to deal with the appointment and promotion of judges.
The Commission, with disinterested persons as members, can spell out the criteria in the selection and promotion of judges which are ambiguous at the moment.“We must measure ourselves with the best. We must have men who have intellectual depth, integrity, written judgment which have been published - there are those who have written hundreds of judgments and some not at all.”He said seniority should top the consideration.
The ex-judge also lamented that many senior judges in the appellate and high courts who deserved to be promoted were overlooked in the recent judicial exercises.“I honestly don’t know the reason. If you ask me on some of the recent appointments - I have to quote [the exclamation] from the lawyers, 'Oh my God, really?'. You begin to wonder why do they said that. There must be something wrong.”
Malaysiakini's Interview with Former Chief Judge of Malaya, Anuar Zainal Abidin in July 2006
In July 2006, Anuar Zainal Abidin, former Chief Judge of Malaya and former Suhakam commissioner, talked about creeping Islamisation in the courts, judicial corruption in an interview with Malaysiakini:
This was what ex-judge Anuar Zainal Abidin said:
I think they (the judges) should NOT be influenced by anything but the LAW. Now, we are waiting for the important case of Lina Joy ... we’ll just have to see what’s going to happen.
( Note: In the Lina Joy case, read article, "Lina Joy Lost Her Case: The Two Muslim Judges in Federal Court Ruled Against Her Rights Under the Federal Constitution" and HERE and HERE - Malaysian Unplug )
.... some Judges are influenced by Islamic teachings or feelings, which is MORE DANGEROUS. If they are influenced by Islamic teachings then they must be knowledgeable. They must really know the subject matter.
Otherwise, you DON'T apply (Islamic teachings in your judgment) because you are sitting as a CIVIL judge.
You are NOT sitting as a syariah court judge. You are not qualified in syariah law. How can you apply according to the syariah law in making your ruling ... especially when you are qualified as a CIVIL (judge)?
(On Islamic influence)... They have (ruled in one case) that the issue (raised) was under the jurisdiction of the syariah courts, therefore (the civil courts) have dismissed the case. First of all, they must consider the meaning of jurisdiction. Just because they (syariah courts) decide on the question of apostasy, it doesn’t mean that they have final jurisdiction. We can still argue. The law is 50-50. It’s man-made.
In the (Federal) Constitution, we have freedom of religion which means we can choose what religion we want (to practise). Does that apply to only non-Muslims? Does that not apply to Muslims too? I would say that it applies to Muslims. So I can choose (my own religion).
Some people say that once you’re a Muslim, you’re a Muslim (for life). I don’t think that it is so...... basic common sense tells me that Islam is a very fair religion. If I want to get out, I get out.
If you talk about Islamic principles, then they have wrongly and mistakenly believed that a Muslim cannot leave (the religion). So then they would have to do something. But they wouldn’t dare because, you see, the only punishment in those days if you leave Islam is death.
Here, it is a man-made punishment. They are replacing God’s punishment with their own rules and regulation."
- Judge Anuar Zainal Abidin, former Chief Judge of Malaya