PUTRAJAYA, Jan 22 – 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
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.