By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 13, 2012
PR lawmakers said it was essential to return to the courts the independence that was removed from it during the 1988 judicial crisis.
PETALING JAYA, Feb 13 — Pakatan Rakyat leaders today pledged to remove legislative amendments to restore the independence of the judiciary if the opposition pact wins the next general election.
Their remarks came as a response to former chief justice Tun Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah's claims that the judiciary has become subservient after former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed clipped its wings in the 1980s when he amended Article 121 of the Constitution.
"Pakatan Rakyat's stand is that we want a free, independent judiciary," Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters here.
"It is essential for the restoration (of the judiciary) to pre-1988 (conditions)… restoration of judicial powers means a removal of amendments to Article 121," added DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.
Evidence of government control over the judiciary, said Anwar, could be seen from the "persecution" and "one-sided" judgments in high-profile cases involving opposition leaders, including himself.
"This has heavy implications… the decisions have been one-sided against political leaders," said the Permatang Pauh MP.
Last week, Mohd Dzaiddin, who once headed the country's courts, said the amendment was repugnant "because Parliament attempted to dictate to the judiciary that it only has judicial powers which Parliament itself says the judiciary has".
He added that the judiciary should be completely independent of both the executive and legislative arms of government, and stressed that the courts should not be used as a tool for political expediency.
Mohd Dzaiddin pointed out that Dr Mahathir's clashes over the roles of the two arms of government with then-Lord President Tun Salleh Abas led to the latter's sacking in 1988.
In response, the former prime minister called Mohd Dzaiddin's remark a lie.
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