Press Statement
New evidence of bid to indoctrinate Palace of Justice Registrars & officers through BTN courses must be fully investigated
31 July 2018

Last week it was revealed that sessions court judges were made to attend a BTN course on the eve of the 14th GE.

New documents have now been obtained disclosing that registrars, officers and staff of the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya as well as the KL and Shah Alam courts were also forced to attend another BTN course one week after the sessions judges’ course.

Those made to attend included key Deputy Registrars and officers attached to individual Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges.

This BTN course was held on 23 to 25 March 2018 at Kem Bina Negara, Tanjung Rhu, Selangor. Instructions were given by the office of the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court, Datuk Seri Latifah Tahar that attendance is compulsory.

(‘Kem Bina Negara’ are BTN-run camps that are located throughout the country.)

The rot thus runs deeper than we had previously suspected; it is not just session court judges, but the entire court system that appears to have been targeted for BTN’s propaganda.

Those who were forced to attend the course have informed us, among other things, that it was impressed upon them that ‘it was important to maintain the BN in power as government.’ It was also drummed into them that ‘if the opposition PH wins, the people will suffer and the economy be damaged.’

Judicial officers must be scrupulously independent; it is simply unthinkable that courses of this nature have been officially sanctioned.

The courses are clearly intended to influence the thought-processes of the judiciary, and consequently their decision-making.

This is an unmistakable attempt at the indoctrination of the judicial arm of the state, carried out behind closed doors.

This matter cannot continue to be swept under the carpet or ignored; it must be dealt with head-on.

It must be fully investigated, and the extent of the tampering with the judiciary revealed, to enable remedial steps to be accordingly instituted.

These responses are vital to re-build public confidence in the judiciary.

We need to know what else was done to compromise the judiciary, and over what period of time? The leaders of the former BN regime such as Najib and Zahid must also be called upon to explain.

New guidelines, rules and laws have now to be drawn up to protect judicial independence, and to prevent a recurrence of what has happened.

It is now imperative that the new government set up an independent panel of inquiry into this matter, with a mandate to get to the bottom of the matter and make public its findings and recommendations.

Released by:
N Surendran
Lawyers for Liberty