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Sultan Nazrin Shah Confident His Father’s Aspirations Will Continue To Be Upheld

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PUTRAJAYA: Sultan Nazrin Shah today expressed confidence that his father, the late Sultan Azlan Shah’s aspirations for an independent
judiciary and for justice to be administered without fear or favour would continue to be upheld by all judges.

In his special address at the reference proceeding held in the Federal Court here in honour of his father, the Perak Sultan said he was reminded of the oath of office that his father took when the late sultan was first elevated to the Bench, which was to endeavour to do justice, not only to the accused person but also to the state.

The late Sultan Azlan Shah was the fifth Lord President of the Federal Court.

In his special address, Sultan Nazrin Shah quoted what his father had once said with regard to the need for judges to be independent.

“…The judges are independent of all — the executive, Parliament and from within themselves – and are free to act in an independent and unbiased manner.

No member of the government, no member of Parliament, and no official of anygovernment department has any right whatever to direct or influence the decision of any of the judges. It is the sure knowledge of this that gives the public confidence in the judges. The judges are not beholden politically to any government…”

Sultan Nazrin Shah said his father’s love for the law and his quest for justice was ever encompassing and that he had strived to uphold the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and to dispense justice without fear or favour.

The Sultan said his father remained uncompromising on moral and ethical values.

“To him the line between what is right and what is wrong is always clearly defined. It was these very traits that both he and my mother, inculcated in all their children. And it is these values that we, the children, now appreciate even more in our adult life. For this, we are truly grateful to them,” he said.

At some point, Sultan Nazrin Shah was seen choked with emotion when delivering his special address.

He said his father’s passion for the rule of law and for the independence of the judiciary was well known.

“As most of you are aware, even after stepping down from the Bench, my father continued to take a keen interest in the judiciary and played a pivotal role in ensuring that the judiciary remained independent, through the many deliberations at the Conference of Rulers,” His Royal Highness said.

Sultan Nazrin Shah said it was more than 30 years since his father relinquished his post as Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia after serving the judiciary for almost 20 years.

“My father’s interest in law and his noble aim of dispensing justice is deeply etched in the minds not only of my family, but of all who knew him.

During those days when he sat on the Bench, the court was always his firsthome.

“It was common for him to bring his work home, but my father never allowed personal or family matters to interfere with his work. My mother, my siblings and I vividly recall seeing him at home in his study writing his judgements until the wee hours of the morning,” he said.

Sultan Nazrin Shah also expressed confidence that the Malaysian judiciary would reach even greater heights under the stewardship of Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

The Sultan said his mother, Tuanku Bainun, his siblings and he were truly honoured that Justice Arifin had convened the special sitting of the Federal Court to have a reference in honour of his father.

“We are deeply moved and touched by the eloquent and poignant speeches delivered by the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General (Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail) and the president of the Bar Council (Christopher Leong),” he said.

Sultan Nazrin Shah said it was a privilege and an honour for the Raja Permaisuri Perak and he to be invited by the Chief Justice and his brother and sister judges to sit on the Bench of the Federal Court this morning.

At the reference proceeding, His Royal Highness and the Raja Permaisuri were seated on the Bench along with Justice Arifin, Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum.

“We are both humbled and thankful to be given this immense privilege. To be sitting on this Bench, and experience, albeit, for a short while, what my father himself did for so many years whilst he was a judge, Chief Justice of Malaya and Lord President of the Federal Court, is indeed a most nostalgic experience,” he said.

Sultan Nazrin Shah said it was both unprecedented and not the tradition, for a family member, or for anyone who was not an officer of the court, to address the court in a reference proceeding.

“However, at the invitation of the Chief Justice of Malaysia, it is my distinct pleasure to say a few words at this special reference proceeding in
honour of my father,” said the Sultan.-BERNAMA

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