Monday, October 29, 2007
I Also Salute You, Sir.
What an outstanding fine speech by a highly respected former Lord President of the Judiciary in his inaugural address at the 14th Malaysian Law Conference on Monday, 29th, October, 2007!
Touching on various common legal concerns and personal insightful observations, Sultan Azlan Shah spoke of a disquiet and discouraged the compromising of the integrity of judges by fraternizing with "business personages and other well-connected individuals" and various other issues.
He also offered constructive suggestions in improving the services of the judiciary in the region. Here's an inspiring portion, out of numerous others, of his humanistic speech that can be found in full at the Malaysian Bar Council website.
This deals with a judge’s quality in decision-making. We in Malaysia live in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. Our founding fathers accommodated this diversity into our Constitution that is reflected in the social contract, and saw this diversity as strength. Judging in a diverse society is not an easy task. Judges in many parts of the world face similar difficulties. Those of you who were present at the lecture delivered by Justice Albie Sachs at the Second Tun Hussein Onn Lecture last week will know how the Constitutional Court of South Africa, as the guardian of the constitution, wrestle to arrive at a just decision when dealing with the issues relating to diversity or discrimination. Judges in Malaysia must be ever mindful that they are appointed judges for all Malaysians. They must be sensitive to the feelings of all parties, irrespective of race, religion or creed, and be careful not to bring a predisposed mind to an issue before them that is capable of being misconstrued by the watching public or segments of them. I am reminded of the proud accolade of the late Tun Suffian in his Braddel Memorial Lecture in 1982, when speaking of the Malaysian judiciary to a Singapore audience he said: “ In a multi-racial and multi religious society like yours and mine, while we judges cannot help being Malay or Chinese or Indian; or being Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu or whatever, we strive not to be too identified with any particular race or religion – so that nobody reading our judgement with our name deleted could with confidence identity our race or religion, and so that the various communities, especially minority communities, are assured that we will not allow their rights to be trampled underfoot.” I have found it necessary to speak at some length on these matters because it is my earnest hope that the Malaysian judiciary will regain the public’s confidence and it will once again be held in high esteem as it once was held. In conclusion, I wish to say as I have said on previous occasion ‘in the judiciary, people place their trust and hope’. UNQUOTE
Yes sir, I salute you, too for been so understanding, refreshingly courageously candid, honest and inspiring.