This axiom, known to all in the legal profession, be they judges or advocates or officials concerned with the administration of justice in Malaysia. But, despite this universally honoured principle, in democracies at least, the facts seem to show that it is bring ignored in Malaysia.
A prime example is the long drawn out criminal proceeding against former Prime Minister Najib which has been dragging on and on, constantly halted by requests for time by the defence. It is abundantly clear to all, or nearly all, Malaysians, whether in the legal machinery or just the observant public, that these delays are unjustified. Worse they not only make the administration of justice appear, at the least, incompetent but may give rise to unworthier and unjustified suspicions.
This particular criminal has to face a whole raft of other criminal accusations. It is obvious that, if he is convicted. there will be an orchestrated campaign to portray such conviction as malicious and unjust. Equally there will be, at least, attempts to appeal and further foot dragging. All this has one objective, and one only, namely to delay the administration of justice until the next general election when, unbelievably, the person concerned thinks he will regain power and cancel all proceedings.
It is the plain duty of all concerned to quash this “pie in the sky” plan by forwarding this and other criminal proceedings in the same expeditious manner that other cases are dealt with. Not to do so can only result in suspicion of attempts to deny justice; and with it the Malaysian people.
It may be that these delays will be excused by claims that the judicial machinery is over stressed and can work no faster than it is working presently. Should such a reason be put forward the simple answer is to appoint more judges or, if the need for such is seen as temporary, then appoint Judicial Commissioners. There are plenty of precedents for that and no apparent reason for not following them