While admitting that some laws may be unfair and need to be amended or abolished, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said these laws must nonetheless be upheld while they are still in the books.
He said laws must be fair to the people, the royalty, and the government – but unfair laws still exist, which would bring chaos and oppression if implemented.
That is why laws must be reviewed to determine whether they are fair, Mahathir added.
“Only laws that truly protect the rights of the people, the government, and the royalty can be continued to be upheld... As rulers and officers of the government, we need to obey the law. If a law is no good, we have the right to amend or abolish it.
“But as long as the law stands, we must obey that law. There are certain ways to improve laws, but no party has the right to set laws aside and use power and violence against the people or any others.
“This is what gives meaning to democracy,” he said.
Mahathir added that there have been instances in the past
where laws were ignored, but this should not happen under the present administration.
He said this during a speech to members of the Prime Minister’s Department this morning, which was broadcast live online, during which he emphasised the importance of upholding the rule of law.
Mahathir also told the civil servants present that future candidates for judicial appointments would be scrutinised and filtered by Parliament before their nominations are sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
This is so that judges can act fairly to uphold justice.
“Justice will be prioritised, not the fear of being denied appointments and promotions by certain parties,” he said.