Judiciary's policy is to keep silent

PUTRAJAYA, March 10 - It is the judiciary's policy to keep quiet and not make comments on controversial issues that attack the institution, Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Hasnah Mohammed Hashim said today.

He said the institution's motto was "Kita senyap tapi kita buat kerja" (We keep quiet but we work). "It is better for the court to keep silent. We don't want to invite any controversy," she said in response to a question from the media on why the court had remained silent over the controversial issues that had arisen.

The court has been plagued with controversial issues lately, among them, the allegation on Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi's conduct on bribery, when he was a lawyer.

Hasnah said that although the judiciary remained silent on controversial issues, it did not mean that it would not entertain complaints from the public or shy away from the media.

This was evident from the setting up of a public relations unit in a move to change its low-profile image into a interaction-friendly one, she said at a get-together at the Palace of Justice here, the first to be held between the judiciary's top administrators and the media.

Present were Court of Appeal registrar Has Zanah Mehat, Head of the Judicial Research and Public Relations Division Norhazani Hamzah and public relations officer Yasmin Abdul Razak. Hasnah said that previously the judiciary had little contact with the media and the idea to hold the get-together with the media was mooted last year.

"It is the Chief Justice's aspiration that we foster close relationship with the media and the public," she added. Meanwhile, Yasmin said her post was created not only to deal with complaints from the public but also to assist the public who had difficulty in accessing the judiciary in terms of where to go, who to see and what to ask.

It was also to make know to the public the existence of the judiciary's public complaints unit which was set up two years ago, she said, adding that the judiciary received about 15 complaints a week, mainly over delays in court proceedings, postponement of cases and against lawyers.

"So far we're doing quite good in that area and complaints are usually resolved within two days," she added. Meanwhile, Hasnah also said that the judiciary was undergoing a reform to improve its delivery system as well as the standard and quality of judicial officers through education.

It was also launching an E-Payment system to enable lawyers to pay fees for filing of court documents in the comfort of their office, instead of having to queue at counters at the courts.

She said the system was initially supposed to be implemented this month but was delayed to April to sort out some technical problems as it involved a lot of court documents.

The system would be introduced in the Kuala Lumpur courts first and eventually extended to courts in the other states. - Bernama

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