Judicial staff forced to attend talk on May 24 by political appointee Lokman who was terminated by the new PH government on May 15.
- Call for Chief Registrar, who also organised Najib’s TN50 programmes and BTN courses, to be relieved of her position pending further investigation
- Formation of independent panel of enquiry to look into the matter
Lawyers of Liberty adviser N Surendran today said his group has received new evidence that the previous administration under Barisan Nasional (BN) had carried out “concerted attempts to politicise the judiciary.”
He said in a press statement that officials of the judiciary were directed to attend a “ceramah” organised by BN last year.
“The Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Datuk Latifah Mohd Tahar had directed judicial officers and court registrars to attend a ‘ceramah‘ by Datuk Lokman Noor Adam on the ‘economic policy’ of the BN regime on 24th May 2017 with attendance being compulsory.
“Why did the Chief Registrar order compulsory attendance of our judicial officers for a ceramah by a prominent Umno political appointee and what was the actual content of this ‘economics’ ceramah?” he asked.
The Chief Registrar’s office has denied that National Civics Bureau (BTN) courses were political or intended to brainwash judges and registrars.
Surendran said today, the ceramah held at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya did not warrant any reasonable or acceptable ground as judges were concerned with the law, and not the economic policy of the ruling government.
According to Surendran, the ceramah’s speaker, Lokman, was then a political appointee under the Finance Ministry helmed by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and recently, he was BN’s candidate in the Sungai Kandis by-election, where he was defeated.
“This is in flagrant breach of the doctrine of separation of powers and the concept of an independent judiciary.
“Lokman has no economic qualifications and if for whatever reason it was truly intended to give judges a proper lecture on economics, why were university economics professors or qualified economists not invited as speakers?” Surendran said.
He added Lokman’s Umno background made it a political event under the guise of an “economics” talk.
Surendran demanded that the Chief Registrar be relieved of her position pending further investigations as, he claimed, she had also organised three of Najib’s National Transformation 2050 (TN50) programmes and BTN courses.
He said Najib and former deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must also explain who authorised the tampering of judges during their administration.
He also called upon Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to give assurances that the independence of the judiciary will be zealously guarded with no political interference by the executive.
He reiterated his stand on the formation of an independent panel of enquiry to look into the matter.
“With these incriminating new disclosures, the matter cannot just be swept under the carpet and must be remedied.”
“The information we received was from honest and conscientious judicial officers that are concerned and disturbed over what has happened who are prepared to testify before such a panel,” he said. – Malay Mail