Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What The Opposition Don't Like to Hear : Malaysia's Judiciary Is Independent

You can already hear the roar of the intellectually challenged and issue deficit Pakatan Rakyat - bought by UMNO, lies by the UMNO controlled mainstream media and notice it's always UMNO. Government propaganda to woo Sarawak votes.

How can? No way. Listen, listen, listen, it's all lies!

From The Sun Daily report verbatim: Malaysia’s judiciary is independent, says retired judge.
PUTRAJAYA (Jan 23, 2013): Despite criticisms and accusations on the transparency and independence of Malaysia's judicial system, a retired Federal Court judge, Datuk Seri Panglima Sulong Matjeraie, said never in his years in service did anyone try to influence him in his decisions.

"I have been working as a judge for 15 years and not on one occasion did any of my bosses said: 'Sulong, you decide this way and not that way'. It never happened.

"In the Federal Court, there are five judges and one of us will write the judgment and then pass it to the rest of us. If we don't agree, we will be dissenting. There is no such thing where you have to follow.

"Definitely, we uphold the independence of the judiciary," he told Bernama here recently. Sulong, 66, the first Sarawakian appointed as Federal Court judge, clocked out for the last time at the Palace of Justice last Friday.

"To be able to administer justice according to the law is something we hold dear."

As a judge, you must make sure you serve justice and ensure justice is achieved. I think we have done that," he added.

Sulong said the transformation of judiciary in the country had also reduced the backlog of cases in courts.

"We have been working hard. There was too much of a backlog that we had to sacrifice our personal time to clear these cases. We have to ensure justice is done expeditiously. All of us work our guts out to make sure we finish our cases," he said.

Sulong was born to a humble family in 1947 in the rural town of Saratok, about 140km from Kuching. As a boy, he used to help his father to tap rubber trees and sell "kuih" in the village to earn extra pocket money.

"My late father always wanted me to be an agriculture assistant where I could get 'free uniform'. I never dreamt of becoming a lawyer or a judge.

"My late father always said: 'Sulong, learn to plant rubber trees. when you get older, you will have your own plantation'.

"As a judge, I get free uniform too," he smiled wryly.

The fourth child in a family of nine, Sulong started his working career at the tender age of 17 when he was appointed a probationary Sarawak Administrative Officer (SAO) in the Sarawak Civil Service.

That was in 1964. When he was 23, Sulong was appointed the District Officer (DO) of Bintulu -now an oil and gas town. The appointment gave him the distinction of being the youngest District Officer in Malaysia.

Sulong started his career in the judiciary when he was appointed a Judicial Commissioner in September 1998 in the High Court of Malaya in Johor Baharu. Two years later, he was a High Court Judge in the Kota Kinabalu High Court, Sabah.

In 2007, he was a judge of the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya and in April last year, he was appointed a Federal Court Judge at the Palace of Justice, here.

"My only regret was not having my father around when I was made the Court of Appeal and Federal Court Judge. He passed away few months before I was appointed as a judge," he said.

Sulong's interest in law was stirred when he was in the civil service, where one of the requirements for an administrative officer to be considered for promotion was to pass the law exam. From there it was all history. To read law, Sulong went to London on a Sarawak government scholarship to study at the Inns of Court School of Law in 1971.

"I am always grateful to the Sarawak state government for giving me that opportunity to further my studies. Otherwise, I don't think I could become a judge. I'm lucky. But then again, all you need to do is work hard and you can achieve any dreams you have," he said.

Sulong obtained his Master of Law Degree in Mercantile Law at the University of Southampton in 1977 where the law study was made possible by his wife who supported him financially.

"I'm thankful to my wife who supported me to do my Master. She was working and I was studying," he added.

Sulong served the state government in various capacities, including as General Manager of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation from 1979 to 1980 and as the General Manager of Bintulu Development Authority from 1980 to 1983. Sulong left the civil service in 1983 and set up his own legal firm under the name of Messrs Sulong Matjeraie & Co. in Kuching the same year.

On his future and what he would like to do, Sulong said he would like to sit back first before deciding what he would like to do.

"I will take a break first before beginning to do something else. Actually I have no future plan yet. First thing I will do though is rest. It has been a long journey. It has been 49 years of working," he said.

His words to the Malaysia's judiciary: "They are doing a good job. I'm sure the judiciary of Malaysia will be second to none in years to come. The people here are very dedicated."
Expect response from the opposition's usual suspects and their accompanying accomplices especially the lawyer types.

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