by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali violated the principle of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary, as well as an attack by an executive agency on the judiciary.
MACC Committee on Corruption (JKMR) member Hassan Abdul Karim, in expressing his regret over the matter, said under the law and the Federal Constitution, serving judges can be removed from office in the event of misconduct including offences of a criminal nature such as bribery.
“However, there is a specific method by which such action can be taken through an independent tribunal set up by the government with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“One example is the case related to the dismissal of former Chief Justice Tun Salleh Abas,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He said MACC should be aware that there were consistent efforts by certain parties whose actions could be considered as attack on judicial independence when this was an attempt to tarnish the integrity of judges hearing former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s case with the aim of having the SRC International Sdn Bhd case quashed and a retrial held.
“It should be understood that there is now a perception that the action against Mohd Nazlan has something to do with the judge’s decision in the case against Najib in the SRC case, where Mohd Nazlan sentenced him to 12 years in prison and a fine of more than RM210 million.
“MACC should not be involved in certain parties’ revenge efforts against the judge,” he added.
Hassan said MACC cannot arbitrarily deal with a court judge solely on the basis of the existence of an official police report made against the judge.
“The provisions of the Federal Constitution clearly lay down the rules by which a judge may be tried and removed from office.
“If this investigation on judge continues, it will raise fears and anxieties among the judges in performing their roles and duties in the courts,” he said.
Hassan called upon MACC to reflect upon its duty to protect the independence of the judiciary and to carry out its duties and responsibilities with trust and in accordance with the provisions of the law and the Federal Constitution.
In regards to the police report against Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki, Hassan said to this day, no investigation has been conducted.
“Even the suggestion from JKMR, chaired by the Yang di-Pertua Dewan Negara Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, that Azam be rested on leave so that an independent investigation can be carried out, was completely ignored by MACC.”
Hassan said MACC must be aware that the job of JKMR is to monitor MACC’s progress.
“In fact, under Section 14 of the MACC Act, it is clearly stated that JKMR is responsible for advising the PM on all matters regarding corruption in Malaysia.
“It is with this responsibility that I make this statement to advise MACC to carry out its duties and responsibilities with trust and in accordance with the provisions of the law and the Federal Constitution,” he stressed.