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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nearly RM600,000 spent on judges’ travels, says minister

Twenty-eight judges had racked up travel expenses of nearly RM600,000 to 14 countries this year.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri said from January to October 22 this year, the 28 judges were sent to participate in 20 international conferences, meetings and seminars, costing Putrajaya RM595,447.03.
The bulk of the expenses went to airfare at RM380,668.80. The rest were for accommodation and domestic transport (RM161,345.96), food allowances and travel claims (RM41,620.36), and charges for the events (RM11,811.91).
Nancy told M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat) in a written reply that there were guidelines in place before judges can be sent to international conventions, meetings and workshops.
Among them are:
* Only events that offer full or partial sponsorships will be considered;
* If there are no sponsorships, only events that are of importance to the judiciary will be considered, such as if the Chief Justice or judges are members of an international judiciary organisation or a Malaysian representative had been requested to present a working paper on the country's legal matters; and
* Only two judges are allowed to attend an event together, although usually only one is sent, unless it is fully sponsored by the organiser.
She said judges were sent overseas to attend seminars or other related events in line with the government's vision to boost confidence in the judiciary.

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