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Rulers: Leaders should stop raising racial and religious issues to incite people

Publish date: Wed, 30 Nov 2022, 08:55 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): The Conference of Rulers has called on the newly-formed government to cultivate a “spirit of togetherness” among the multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural people of the country.

In a message in conjunction with the 260th Meeting of the Conference of Rulers, Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz ibni Almarhum Tuanku Munawir expressed hope that leaders would no longer raise racial and religious issues with the aim of inciting the public.
“I also urge the new government to use this opportunity to lead the nation to a higher level,” said Tuanku Muhriz, who chaired the two-day meeting at Istana Negara, which ended on Wednesday (Nov 30).
The Yang di-Pertuan Besar also urged the government to carry out its responsibilities dutifully, while upholding the principles of the Rukun Negara.

Reinforcing independence of the judiciary and enforcement agencies

In particular, Tuanku Muhriz cited two of the principles of the Rukun Negara, namely the Supremacy of the Constitution and the Sovereignty of the Law.

“These two principles are crucial to ensure that the enforcement agencies and the judiciary are independent of any external forces in carrying out their responsibilities,” he said.

Touching on the judiciary, the ruler said while it is the duty of the Conference of Rulers to appoint judges in Malaysia, the process has faults which can be improved upon.

“The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) plays a major role in submitting proposals for the appointment of judges. Therefore, members of the JAC are critical to ensure that the JAC continues to be able to present judges of integrity and calibre,” said the Yang di-Pertuan Besar.

The nine-member JAC is composed of four top judicial administrators led by the chief justice, as well as five eminent persons appointed by the prime minister.

“To ensure the independence of the JAC in carrying out its responsibilities, I suggest that the appointment of the five members of the JAC not be made by the prime minister.

“Instead, it should be given to several other institutions such as the Malaysian Bar Council, the Sabah Law Society, Advocates Association of Sarawak and the Parliamentary Select Committee,” Tuanku Muhriz said, adding that this will result in a more balanced membership that is not biased towards any party.

The Yang di-Pertuan Besar also suggested that the structure of the JAC be reevaluated with negotiations carried out between the government, the existing JAC members, the lawyer groups, as well as any other relevant stakeholders.

“If everything is implemented, I am confident that the JAC will be capable of carrying out its responsibilities more effectively and make the judicial selections and appointments from among individuals with a noble character, and who are transparent and fair,” the Yang di-Pertuan Besar added.

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