The Malaysian Bar views with concern the action of the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, YB Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (“the Speaker”) to write to the High Court Judge Yang Arif Tuan Collin Lawrence Sequerah, requesting that YB Dato’ Sri Najib Razak’s trial be adjourned so that he could attend Parliament to debate the royal address.
Although the Speaker has defended the move by saying that he merely made a request and never instructed the trial Judge, his action may give rise to unnecessary perception towards certain members of the House, particularly in light of the controversy surrounding his appointment.
As the Speaker rightfully pointed out, the powers of the Judiciary, Executive and Legislative are equal. The Speaker should have left it to the parties’ hands to seek the Court’s indulgence to adjourn the matter instead of writing to the trial Judge directly.
Does the Speaker’s written request in this instance mean that practising Members of the Bar who are members of Parliament, can now request the assistance of the Speaker to seek adjournment of their court matters in order to attend Parliamentary debates?
22 July 2020