By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General, MP for Tanjung and assemblymen for Kampong Kolam, Lim Kit Siang, in Malacca on 18.9.1986:
Support for Tun Suffian’s proposal that Government should use court fines to build more courthouses and hire more judges and magistrates.
I call on the Prime minister, Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad, to heed the criticism and advice of former Lord President, Tun Suffian, in Star that the Government should use the court fines to build more court houses and hire more judges, court presidents and magistrates to clear the backlog of cases.
Dr. Mahathir should be aware that ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ and that having a backlog of 900,000 unheard cases in Malaysia must be regarded as a Crisis in the Administration of Justice.
Call for establishment of another appellate court to replace Privy Council
There are many areas in the judicial system which is unsatisfactory, and where radical reforms should be undertaken to ensure that justice is beyond the reach and means of the small men.
In this connection, there is an urgent for the establishment of a final appellate court to replace the Privy Council. The abolition of the Privy Council has reduced to right of appeal from two times to once in many instances, and this is unfair. For instance, a case decided by High Court would have only one appeal to the Supreme Court, whereas in the past, it would have a second right of appeal to the Privy Council.
While the abolition of Privy Council is acceptable on the ground that we should be able to depend on local judges to administer justice, it should not result in the dimunition of the right to two appeals to only one. Surely, there are sufficient local judges or jurists to man another appellate court, which will be the highest appellate court equivalent to a local Privy Council, in Malaysia.
The government had been talking about setting up such another appellate court, but nothing has come out of it so far. This is most unjust and a blemish on our legal and judicial system, which should be remedied without any delay.