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Dr M: Public wants RCI into judicial misconduct

PUTRAJAYA: It is the public that wants a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the allegations of judicial misconduct, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister said there were many different opinions on the matter, but it was largely the public who wanted an RCI. 

He was asked to comment on a suggestion by retired judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram that newly minted Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat carry out an internal inquiry into allegations of judicial misconduct.

Gopal Sri Ram said that it was inappropriate for an RCI to probe the allegations, as this would be against the doctrine of separation of powers.

When asked if an RCI was the best avenue to probe the allegations, Dr Mahathir said what he thought was not important.

The Cabinet approved the setting up of an RCI three months ago, in the wake of an affidavit by Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer outlining alleged misconduct by several unidentified judges.

Former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee has filed an action to stop the government from setting up the RCI.

Yong is seeking a declaration that the decision by the federal government to set up the RCI is unconstitutional and in breach of the principle of separation of powers.

The hearing is scheduled for July 2.

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