Friday 18 APRIL 2008

No. 17800 (PPI64I/3/2009) Peninsula RMI.20 Sabah RMI.80 Sarawak RMI.80

people's paper

For RM8.75, you can renew your road tax and have it delivered to you the next day >N8


Shut down for breaching rules

Speaker speculation

Trust and

OSK confident of double-digit growth >STARBIZ

Govt moves to strengthen judiciary
KUALA LUMPUR: A Judicial Appointments Commission to help the Prime Minister choose judges is to be set up as part of reforms announced last night by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to renew the people's trust in the judiciary. Addressing the Malaysian Bar Council dinner here last night, Abdullah said the Government proposed the change to make the process of nominating, appointing and promoting judges more transparent and representative. The Prime Minister, as expected, also addressed the sacking of six Supreme Court judges in 1988, saying "the legacy of 1988 haunts us until today". "For many, the events of 1988 were an upheaval of the nation's judicial system. Rightly or wrongly, many disputed both the legality and morality of the related proceedings. "For me, personally, I feel it was a time of crisis from which the nation never fully recovered," he said. The dinner was also attended by former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin and Datuk Seri George Seah. They were among six judges who were sacked in 1988. The other announcements by Abdullah were: > Goodwill ex-gratia payment to the six outstanding judges as recognition of their contributions; > A review of the judiciary's terms of service and remuneration to ensure that the Bench can attract and retain the very best of the nation's talent; Abdullah said there would be more reforms to come to strengthen the capacity and credibility of the judiciary. > SEE PAGES 4,16 and 18 > FULL TEXT OF PM'S SPEECH ON PI2

Pope: Crisis badly handled

India seals off torch route

Renewing trust: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shaking hands with former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas as Chief Justice Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad (right) looks on during the Bar Council dinner at the J W Mariott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star

Govt extends civil servants' retirement age to 60
By S I M LEOI LEOI PUTRAJAYA: The Government has agreed to five of the six demands by Cuepacs, including extending the retirement age for civil servants from 56 years to 60, and the scrapping of the efficiency level assessment (PTK) examination. However, there will be no RM2,000 honorarium payment in lieu of bonuses for last year. Cuepacs president Omar Osman said that in a 45-minute meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at his office here yesterday, the Government had agreed to all its demands except the honorarium. "The Prime Minister explained that should the Government give out the honorarium, it may spur another round of price increases, like what happened last year when we received our salary revision. "We agreed that we should sacrifice this demand as we also don't want certain parties to take advantage by increasing the prices of goods," he said, adding that Cuepacs was mindful that prices of certain goods such as flour, bread and rice had also been increasing recently. However, Omar said the Government had agreed to the other demands - the extension of the retirement age, reinstatement of critical and housing allowances, pension payment to be based on one's actual years of service and the scrapping of the PTK exam. "The Prime Minister will make the announcement soon," he said, describing the outcome of the meeting as "positive". "Cuepacs is relieved the Government has agreed to all of the above," he said, adding that the Public Service Department (PSD) would brief Cuepacs today on the new method of evaluation for PTK. The PTK, which has become a bone of contention among the 1.2 million civil servants, was introduced in 2002 when the Malaysian Remuneration System replaced the New Remuneration System. Passing the PTK exam was used as a > T U R N TO P A G E 8


New blood for Devils