PUTRAJAYA: Sultan Nazrin Shah today expressed confidenceÂ that his father, the late Sultan Azlan Shah’s aspirations for an independent
judiciary and for justice to be administered without fear or favour wouldÂ continue to be upheld by all judges.
In his special address at the reference proceeding held in the Federal CourtÂ here in honour of his father, the Perak Sultan said he was reminded of the oathÂ of office that his father took when the late sultan was first elevated to theÂ Bench, which was to endeavour to do justice, not only to the accused person butÂ also to the state.
The late Sultan Azlan Shah was the fifth Lord President of the FederalÂ Court.
In his special address, Sultan Nazrin Shah quoted what his father had onceÂ said with regard to the need for judges to be independent.
“…The judges are independent of all — the executive, Parliament and fromÂ 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 decisionÂ of any of the judges. It is the sure knowledge of this that gives the publicÂ confidence in the judges. The judges are not beholden politically to anyÂ government…”
Sultan Nazrin Shah said his father’s love for the law and his quest forÂ justice was ever encompassing and that he had strived to uphold the rule of lawÂ and the independence of the judiciary and to dispense justice without fear orÂ favour.
The Sultan said his father remained uncompromising on moral and ethicalÂ values.
“To him the line between what is right and what is wrong is always clearlyÂ defined. It was these very traits that both he and my mother, inculcated in allÂ their children. And it is these values that we, the children, now appreciateÂ 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 whenÂ delivering his special address.
He said his father’s passion for the rule of law and for the independence ofÂ the judiciary was well known.
“As most of you are aware, even after stepping down from the Bench, myÂ father continued to take a keen interest in the judiciary and played a pivotalÂ role in ensuring that the judiciary remained independent, through the manyÂ deliberations at the Conference of Rulers,” His Royal Highness said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said it was more than 30 years since his fatherÂ relinquished his post as Lord President of the Federal Court of Malaysia afterÂ serving the judiciary for almost 20 years.
“My father’s interest in law and his noble aim of dispensing justice isÂ 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 allowedÂ personal or family matters to interfere with his work. My mother, my siblingsÂ and I vividly recall seeing him at home in his study writing his judgementsÂ until the wee hours of the morning,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah also expressed confidence that the Malaysian judiciaryÂ would reach even greater heights under the stewardship of Chief Justice TunÂ Arifin Zakaria.
The Sultan said his mother, Tuanku Bainun, his siblings and he were trulyÂ honoured that Justice Arifin had convened the special sitting of the FederalÂ Court to have a reference in honour of his father.
“We are deeply moved and touched by the eloquent and poignant speechesÂ delivered by the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General (Tan Sri Abdul GaniÂ 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 RajaÂ Permaisuri Perak and he to be invited by the Chief Justice and his brother andÂ sister judges to sit on the Bench of the Federal Court this morning.
At the reference proceeding, His Royal Highness and the Raja Permaisuri wereÂ seated on the Bench along with Justice Arifin, Court of Appeal president Tan SriÂ Md Raus Sharif, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and ChiefÂ Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum.
“We are both humbled and thankful to be given this immense privilege. To beÂ sitting on this Bench, and experience, albeit, for a short while, what myÂ father himself did for so many years whilst he was a judge, Chief Justice ofÂ Malaya and Lord President of the Federal Court, is indeed a most nostalgicÂ experience,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said it was both unprecedented and not the tradition, forÂ a family member, or for anyone who was not an officer of the court, to addressÂ the court in a reference proceeding.
“However, at the invitation of the Chief Justice of Malaysia, it is myÂ distinct pleasure to say a few words at this special reference proceeding in
honour of my father,” said the Sultan.-BERNAMA