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Retired judges sue govt, PM for no pension increment
Published on: Thursday, January 27, 2022
By: Bernama
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Kuala Lumpur: A total of 35 individuals, comprising former members of the judiciary and seven widows of former judges, have filed a suit against the Malaysian Government and three others over failure to fix appropriate increase in the pension and benefits they received since 2015.

The retired judges include former Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, former Chief Judges of Malaya Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob and Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Nor, and former Court of Appeal Judge Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yunos, who is also former Dewan Rakyat Speaker.

They filed the originating summons last week in the High Court here through the legal firm of Messrs. Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff.

They named the Government, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Director-General of Public Service as the first to fourth defendants.

In the suit, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that failure to fix through a Government Gazette an appropriate increment of more than two per cent in their pension and other benefits pursuant to Section 15B(2) of the Judges’ Remuneration Act 1971 (Act 45) has violated Articles 125 (7) and 125 (9) of the Federal Constitution.

The plaintiffs are also seeking an order that the second or third defendant (Prime Minister and the Cabinet, respectively) shall advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to fix a higher increment of more than two per cent annually on the pension and other benefits given to them, effective July 1, 2015 pursuant to Section 15B (2) of Act 45.

The plaintiffs also said that in pursuant to Section 15B of the Judges’ Remuneration Act 1971, the pensions of retired judges and dependants of deceased judges were adjusted automatically based on the current salaries of the serving judges which were reviewed in stages from time to time, as required under Articles 125 (7) and 125 (9) of the Federal Constitution.

According to the plaintiffs, the method of calculating the adjustment is stated in the Third and Fourth Schedules of the Act, but it was deleted from the act causing their rights to be affected when the salary of the serving judge was increased with effect from July1, 2015.

“Under the provisions of Section 15B of the Judges’ Remuneration Act 1971 (before it was amended), the plaintiffs’ pension will be automatically adjusted in line with the salary increment of the serving judge.

“However, in accordance with the provisions of Section 15B(1) (after the amendment and calculated retrospectively), the pension of retired judges is adjusted every year with a two per cent increase and no longer take into account the salary increment received by the serving judges,” as stated in the suit.

The plaintiffs said the situation resulted in a judge who was appointed before Jan 1, 2014 to receive a lower pension.

According to them, Article 125(7), read together with Article 125(9) of the Federal Constitution, states that the pension rights of a judge shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.

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