KUALA LUMPUR (July 10): The leaked draft judgments in two high-profile cases in the Federal Court and High Court here were nothing more than wicked attempts to undermine the judiciary, calculated at disrupting judicial operations and the administration of justice, said Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
The said leaked judgments were on former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s SRC International Sdn Bhd case and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s corruption case over a solar hybrid project.
Tengku Maimun said these are among the challenges faced by the judiciary in the transformation of courtrooms from physical to virtual, where cyber security is a paramount concern.
“Sensitive legal data, from personal testimonies to case details, must be protected. In the same way that physical courtrooms are secured by locks and guards, digital courtrooms require robust firewalls and encryption to protect the integrity of proceedings.
“In the past year, even the judiciary was targeted by certain members of society in pursuit of their ill-willed objectives,” said the top judge in her opening address at the International Malaysia Law Conference (IMLC) 2023 here today.
In this regard, Tengku Maimun said the judiciary would continue to enhance its cyber security measures with a view to continuously preserving the confidentiality and integrity of the judicial processes.
“Our judgments undergo public discourse. We ourselves are scrutinised and to speak candidly, even our private lives are not immune from such scrutiny,” she said.
She added that it is the judiciary’s earnest hope that members of the public, who may be uninformed, would harness the power of technology to acquaint themselves with judicial decisions.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Bar president Karen Cheah has urged the government to reform certain laws at the parliamentary sitting in October.
She said among the provisions which should be amended was Second Schedule of Part II, Section 1(b) and (c) of the Federal Constitution where the word “father” should be replaced with the word “parent” in relation to the citizenship issue plaguing overseas-born children of Malaysian women with foreign spouses.
“It is so that our Federal Constitution moves with the times and recognises gender equality. Such amendments should be without qualifications or conditions attached.
“All other problematic proposed amendments by the Home Ministry should be taken out and left for further discussion at a later date. This is a simple and straightforward amendment, and it should not be railroaded and delayed due to other issues newly introduced causing unnecessary complication,” she said in her welcome speech at IMLC 2023.
Cheah further said other proposed amendments involved the Judicial Appointments Commission to promote transparency and accountability in the appointment of judges and reforms to the structure of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure full autonomy and independence.
On the National Legal Aid Foundation (YBGK), Cheah said its lawyers have represented clients in more than two million cases from April 2012 till June this year.
“One of the greatest sources of pride for the Malaysian Bar is the advancement of legal aid programmes in Malaysia — and we do so because we believe everyone must have access to justice,” she added.
Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced an allocation of RM10 million for YBGK to assist those who cannot afford legal services.
Anwar also said he would present the proposed amendments to the Conference of Malay Rulers soon to enable Malaysian mothers to be granted equal rights in the Federal Constitution.
“We will be tabling amendments to the Federal Constitution to replace the words ‘whose father’ in Part I and Part II of the Second Schedule with the words ‘at least one of the parents’,” he said. — Bernama