KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 – The Dewan Rakyat today passed the Judges’ Remuneration (Amendment) Bill 2013, which entitled judges who resign before age 60 but have served for at least five years, to pension benefits. Clause 4 of the bill also provides for an annual increment of two per cent on the pension. The bill was approved by the house after the third reading by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri. While winding up the debate on the bill, she said the government would study the proposal by one of the members of parliament for a law to restrict former judges from being involved in politics and returning to law practice after retirement. “For your knowledge, judges are at liberty to involve themselves in any activities, and have the right to freedom of speech and association as provided for in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution as long as they act within the confines of the law.
“If the judges want to return to law practice, they are subjected to the Legal profession Act 1976 which presently does not prevent them from doing so. However, we will consider the MP’s suggestion,” she said. Nancy said the appointment of judicial commissioners would be maintained as provided for in the federal constitution, for a fair and just administration. “The rationale for appointing judicial commissioners is that they have the expertise in certain fields like Islamic finance, banking and so on,” she said. She said the annual pension increment of two per cent was consistent with the rate for retirees in the federal and state public services as well as statutory bodies and local authorities. “The increment is also consistent with the past years’ two per cent consumer price index rate,” she said.