BERA: Investigations into allegations of misconduct or wrongdoings on judges should not be publicised to safeguard and protect the judicial institution, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said no one was above the law and enforcement agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police were free to investigate if they suspected a criminal offence had been committed.To preserve respect for the judicial institution, however, investigations against judges should not be publicised, he said.

“There is no need for them (enforcement agencies) to announce who is involved or tell the media about the investigation.

“I do not see anything wrong about investigating judges implicated in criminal wrongdoings. We are not saying a crime has been committed as it is only at the investigation stage.

“But there is no need to publicise them and reveal to the media the names of those under probe. Maybe that is what is being questioned,” he said without naming the individuals or agencies involved.

He said this when asked about the Malaysian Bar’s Walk for Judicial Independence assembly held at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

He said the Malaysian Bar’s action might be in response to the way the agency concerned was conducting its investigation.

Ismail Sabri, the Bera MP, was speaking at a media conference after attending a meet-and-greet session with workers of the Bera parliamentary constituency Jalinan Rakyat (JR) at the Bera Rakan Muda Complex yesterday.

He reiterated that the government subscribed to the principle of separation of powers, with the judiciary given the freedom to conduct trials and make rulings without interference from any party.

When asked about the proposed Political Funding Bill, he said the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) and Attorney-General’s Chambers had been directed to make comprehensive studies for it to be tabled to the Cabinet before being taken to Parliament.On the programme, Ismail Sabri, who is also Umno vice-president, reminded the Barisan Nasional machinery to start preparing for the 15th General Election and to not wait until the last minute.

“We need to be prepared because GE15 has to be held one year from now at the latest and that is not a long time.

“That is if it is held in July (next year), but it can also be called earlier,” he said.

Ismail Sabri expressed satisfaction with the cooperation shown by component parties involved in the Barisan machinery, including its activation of the JR. — Bernama