EVERYBODY in the country should respect any decision delivered by the court.
This is very important in order to protect the integrity of our judicial and legal system and the running of our democratic system.
This come after the High Court found former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak guilty of all seven criminal charges related to funds from 1MDB-linked company SRC International.
The verdict was delivered by Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali after taking more than an hour to read the judgment.
The decision received many reactions not only within the country but also internationally.
It is crucial for everyone to remain calm and accept the court decision as judges had reached their verdict after considering all the relevant evidence and after listening to arguments tendered by all parties.
Everybody must know that every court process and procedure are properly regulated.
It has been regulated even before we reached our Independence in 1957 during the colonial era.
As for criminal cases, it is regulated under the Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593).
All cases, whether civil or criminal, must also follow the regulations over submission of evidence as provided under the Evidence Act 1950 (Act 56).
Judges will deliver their decision after analysing all the facts, arguments and evidence put forward to them.
If all the facts, arguments and evidence given are convincing according to the given standard or quantum of proof for the particular case, judge will deliver their decision accordingly.
Beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard of proof in criminal cases, the standard required for civil cases is on the balance of probabilities.
Anybody who are not happy with the court decision can make an appeal within the stipulated period of time to the higher courts, namely the Court of Appeal and Federal Court.
Any act of disrespect over the court decision will only tarnish the country’s judiciary in the eyes of the world.
Not only that, any act of disrespect will also cause social disturbance.
In the worst case scenario, people will no longer believe in the court system and thus they will take matters into their own hands to solve any dispute.
Thus it is crucial for everybody to respect the court decision.
Any dissatisfaction should be channelled according to the given process provided by the laws and the constitution of the country.
By respecting the court decision, we also respecting the rule of law which has been implemented and governed our civilised nation for many years. The rule of law clearly implies that every citizen is subject to the law, including lawmakers themselves.
Respecting the rules of law is one of the pillars of Rukunegara.
Dr Muzaffar Syah Mallow
Faculty of Syariah & Law
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia