Press Statement
Shocking disclosure that Judges were forced to attend BTN courses – Chief Registrar must explain
28 July 2018

On the eve of the 14th General Elections, Sessions court judges throughout Malaysia were ordered to attend a BTN course.

The course was called ‘ Latihan Transformasi Negara ‘ and held on 16 to 18 March 2018 at the Akademi Kenegaraan Biro Tatanegara at Jalan Bellamy in Kuala Lumpur.

Lawyers for Liberty has been given a copy of the written instructions to all sessions court judges to attend the course, which was issued by the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court. Attendance was made compulsory.

It is unacceptable and shocking that Judges had been compelled to attend the BTN course.

The BTN is notorious for promoting racism and disunity and being a propaganda tool for the BN regime. It has become so tainted and identified with BN’s tyranny, that the PH manifesto had promised that it would be dissolved.

Judges must be impartial and independent in their conduct and judgments; this is fundamental to uphold the rule of law and maintain the separation of powers.

To forcibly send every sessions court judge in the country for the BTN course is a serious threat to judicial independence.

What has BTN’s ‘Latihan Transformasi Negara’ have to do with the professional training or work of judges? What were the judges taught or exhorted or persuaded to do during these courses? What was the objective of making judges attend such courses, and who initiated and ordered it?

This is the most damning evidence that has yet emerged, indicating tampering with the independence of the judiciary under the BN regime.

Chief Registrar Datuk Seri Latifah Mohd Tahar, whose office issued the instructions for the programme must explain why she did so and what was the purpose of the BTN course.

Further, the Chief Registrar must immediately disclose whether BTN officials continue to be involved in the training of our judges.

The fundamental problem is that the system, key personnel and administrative regime over judges that is in place now remains the same as under BN’s rule.

There must be an immediate review and termination of all ongoing training programmes, courses, modules or directions which interfere with or have the potential to compromise the independence of our judiciary.

Released by:
N Surendran
Advisor
Lawyers for Liberty