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PSD told not to drag its feet in appointment of judges to higher positions
PUTRAJAYA: Senior magistrates and Sessions Court judges cannot be appointed to higher positions to hear suits involving large claims as the Public Service Department (PSD) has not yet approved those posts.
Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria expressed hope that the matter would be resolved soon so that the judicial administration could implement amendments to the Subordinates Courts Act
"It has been two years since the amendment was approved by Parliament. I hope the PSD will not drag its feet any longer," he told reporters after attending the oath taking ceremony on the appointment of Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil as judicial commissioner.
Arifin said even the Cabinet had given the nod to appoint senior magistrates and Sessions Court judges to higher positions with better remuneration.
Under the amendment, magistrates have the jurisdiction to hear claims up to RM100,000.
Currently, their powers were limited to RM25,000.
In the case of Sessions Court judges, the amendment empowers them to preside over civil claims of up to RM1 million.
At present their jurisdiction is limited to RM250,000 and below.
A visibly upset Arifin, who assumed the top post last year, said experienced judicial officers could be appointed to the new positions which would reduce the number of High Court judges hearing civil claims.
"This will help the government to reduce expenditure of the judiciary," he said.
On another matter, Arifin said the authoritative text of the new combined rules of the High Court and the subordinate courts would be Bahasa Malaysia.
"We will rely on the national language should a dispute arise," he said.
The rules of the court came into effect yesterday and was aimed as simplifying and standardising procedures for lawyers and the public.
It took the judiciary, the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Bar representatives of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak three years to formulate the rules.