The Chief Justice of Malaysia Ariffin Zakaria claimed that the judiciary is free from political influence or pressure when delivering a judgment, even in the most high-profile personality cases. He was referring to the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy and Karpal Singh’s sedition cases where he said that the decisions were based totally on law and legal procedures. ‘The judiciary is independent and executes justice based on the merits of law and legal procedures,’ said the Chief Justice of Malaysia Ariffin Zakaria.
“As far I’m concerned there has been no compromise to the independence of the judiciary due to political reasons,” Ariffin claimed at a press conference today. “As Chief Justice, I have always maintained that my commitment to the country is to uphold the good name of the judiciary and so far there has not been any breach. Judges must give reasons for their decisions and their reasons are subject to scrutiny by the appellate courts. If anything goes wrong, illegal, of course we will change it in due legal process,” insisted Ariffin.
Whereas Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said that the chief justice should stop defending himself, his comments were pointless. “It is not for the judiciary to claim it is independent but for the public, lawyers and litigants to have confidence in the institution,” he said in a statement today, “Surely, the chief justice cannot be so blind so as to ignore them and rely on support offered by government ministers and blowing his own trumpet.”
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