Archive for category Judiciary

Support for the appointment of Malanjum as the next Chief Justice, creating history as the first from Sabah/Sarawak to head the Malaysian judiciary in half a century

I support the proposal by the Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian for the appointment of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak for over a decade since July 2006, as the next Chief Justice.

This will create history as Malanjum will be the first Malaysian from Sabah/Sarawak to head the Malaysian judiciary in half a century.

The present Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria will end his tenure in March next year after it was extended from October 1 this year.

Malanjum holds the distinction as the longest-serving judge, whether of High Court, Court of Appeal or Federal Court in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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We deserve a Malaysia where Aminulrasyid, Kugan, Teoh Beng Hock and even Justice Singham do not become victims of injustices of an unfair and iniquitous system

The Save Malaysia People’s Congress in Shah Alam yesterday attended by some 2,000 people of all races, religions and political affiliations was a vote of confidence by the people of Malaysia in the future and salvation of Malaysia.

As I said at the beginning of my speech at the People’s Congress yesterday, the Tuns, Tan Sris, Datuk Seris, Datuks and ordinary men and women who gathered at the People’s Congress from various parties, NGOs as well as NGIs, are not “bad hats”, trouble makers, anti-national elements or traitors, but loyal and dedicated Malaysian patriots who love the country deeply and do not want Malaysia to hurtle down the slope of a failed and a rogue state.

Despite our differences – and there can be no greater differences between the former longest-serving Prime Minister for 22 years, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and myself spanning more than four decades – the 2,000 people who gathered in Shah Alam were united by one common noble and patriotic purpose, to save Malaysia, the country we love deeply and owe undivided loyalty, from continuing to be a land of injustices but could begin to fulfill the promises of the Malaysian Dream where Malaysia can punch above our weight in international community because of our accomplishments and achievements of various fields of human endeavor – political, economic, respect for human rights, good governance or nation building of a plural society of diverse races, languages, religions and cultures.

The events of the last few days have brought to the fore the tragic cases of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah, V. Kugan and Teoh Beng Hock – the Shah Alam High Court award of RM414,000 as damages to the family of Aminulrasyid Amzah’s family for the unjustified police shooting and killing of the teenager in Shah Alam in April 2010, the death of former High Court judge V.T. Singham reminding Malaysians of his courageous judgement in the case of A. Kugan’s death in police custody, and the high-powered campaign to accuse and tar DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng with the allegation of corruption for the RM2.8 million bungalow purchase, raising the question of the independence and professionalism of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in high-profile political cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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Farewell to a Fearless, Forthright & Fiercely Independent Judge!

By Martin Jalleh

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Bersih 4 t-shirt ban underestimates people’s wisdom

Khoo Ying Hooi
The Malaysian Insider
22 February 2016

Last week, the Shah Alam High Court upheld the government’s decision to ban Bersih 4 t-shirts and related printed materials. The decision comes after Bersih 4 organisers filed a judicial review against the government’s ban on the yellow Bersih 4 t-shirts.

In his judgment, Judge Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa said that the order by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was valid, as the minister had the discretion to make such decisions on the basis of preserving the peace in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.

I quote, “The minister has taken the relevant consideration in making the said order. I take judicial notice that Malaysia is multi-racial and multi-religious, thus puts a heavy responsibility to the minister to maintain and preserve peace, notwithstanding the Federal Constitution confers rights of assembly (and) freedom of expression.

“However, the national interest needs to be jealously guarded. Indeed, the prime consideration to safeguard the public order, security and peaceful, are at the hands of the executive.”

This decision is disappointing for one reason – how could we possibly reach the stage where wearing a t-shirt with the label of Bersih 4 is considered illegal with the potential to cause public disorder? Read the rest of this entry »

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Who are you bluffing, Apandi?

In his 2016 New Year Message, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said his RM2.6 billion donation and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues in the country.

How wrong the Prime Minister had been.

Every day since the New Year’s Day for the past week, Najib’s twin mega scandals had hogged the news headlines, and there was not a single day when there were no multiple news items on the issue, especially on the Internet.
In fact, no other news story in the country could compete with Najib’s twin mega scandals in terms of their daily coverage, durability and newsworthiness.

It is not for nothing that Najib’s twin mega scandals were the reasons why Malaysia was ranked third for the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” by ForeignPolicy website of Washington Post.

Najib’s twin mega scandals have repeatedly made history, though not of the sublime or honourable kind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dissipating Malaysia’s ‘big risks’

by Gurdial Singh Nijar
The Malaysian Insider
7 January 2016

As we usher in the New Year, it is time to reflect on the state of the nation – our hopes and our disappointments. We have much to be thankful for. After all, our nation is certainly not a seething cauldron of instability.

But at the same time there are disturbing trends, which if left to run their course makes for deep concern.

In this context I was reflecting on a piece by the conservative UK-based Economist magazine (“Stick-in-the-mud”, December 5, 2015). Read the rest of this entry »

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Attorney-General Apandi Ali should declare whether he accepts the High Court decision on the release of Khairuddin and Chang and would withdraw all prosecutions and halt police investigations based on SOSMA for activities unrelated to terrorism or terrorist activities

Human rights and civil liberties advocates have cause to rejoice that the battle to uphold the rule of law in Malaysia is not a lost cause when recently-sacked UMNO division deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer, Matthias Chang were released under bail after the High Court ruled that the charges of sabotage of financial services do not fall under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

High Court judge Mohd Azman Husin decided that financial services do not come within the ambit of Article 149 (1) of the federal constitution where the SOSMA law was enacted by Parliament and ordered the case against Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang to be tried in the Sessions Court.

Both were allowed bail at RM10,000 each with one surety.

Mohamad is charged with sabotaging the financial and banking institutions of Malaysia by lodging police reports on the 1MDB scandal in Singapore, Hong Kong and United Kingdom.

The duo have been detained for more than one month and denied bail, after authorities categorised the charged offence as a security offence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Twenty-eight years and eight days ago…

— Lee Yew Meng
Malay Mail Online
November 4, 2015

NOV 4 — On Oct 27, 1987, The Star managing director Datuk Steven Tan told his top management that the newspaper’s publishing permit had been withdrawn with immediate effect. The letter was hand-delivered earlier during a downpour.

The front page on that day read: “DETAINED — 19 picked up in swoop”. The masthead was in black, dramatising the events of the previous day.

I have no recollection of what was discussed during that meeting. Stuck in my head was: “Hey, this is ridiculous. Our chairman is Tunku Abdul Rahman (our first prime minister) and we are owned by MCA, a senior coalition partner in the government.”

All employees were on a quarter-month’s pay henceforth. It was a double whammy for couples on The Star’s payroll. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad week for rule of law and credibility and professionalism of key national institutions like police and judiciary contributing to the “Perfect Storm” confronting Malaysia

This is a bad week for the rule of law and the credibility and professionalism of key national institutions like the police and the judiciary with multiple developments.

I will just cite three instances.

The first is mystery of the sudden and shocking sacking of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail some two months before his compulsory retirement age and his disappearance from the public domain in the wake of speculation that Gani was on the verge of filing charges against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for corruption in connection with the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal and that Najib had pre-empted Gani from prosecuting him by summarily sacking him as Attorney-General.

Gani’s sacking was followed by inter-departmental internecine warfare with police arrests of key officials in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission which degenerated into an intra-departmental police tussle, involving the No. 2 man in the Police Special Branch, Abdul Hamid Bador.

What is truth and what is fiction? Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to explain whether he had been guilty of abuse of power when he stymied Hishamudin’s promotion from Court of Appeal to Federal Court in 2013

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should explain whether he had been guilty of abuse of power when he stymied the promotion of Court of Appeal judge, Justice Hishamudin Yunus to the Federal Court in 2013.

Hishamudin’s promotion to the Federal Court was recommended by Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) in 2013 but his elevation was blocked by the Prime Minister.

This is a clear case of Executive interference with the independence, impartiality, integrity and professionalism of the judiciary which the Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2009 was enacted by Parliament to overcome so as to ensure unbiased selection and elevation judges. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is there a conspiracy involving the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Attorney-General and Inspector-General of Police pretending not to understand the real nature of national and international concerns about the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has accused Al Jazeera’s 101 East current affairs programme “Murder in Malaysia” on the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu as part of an international conspiracy to topple him.

The Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamned Apandi Ali yesterday issued a statement declaring that Najib was never implicated during the course of the trial over Altantunya’s murder.

He said the murder trial was comprehensive with all relevant witnesses being called to testify.

He said: “Every piece of evidence and testimonies of witnesses were subjected subsequently to intense curial scrutiny by both the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.”

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar meanwhile is on a war-path, vowing to investigate the Al Jazeera journalist Mary Ann Jolley under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code related to “statements with the intent to cause, or is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public” as well as her informants, although Khalid did not explain how the police is going to investigate the Australian-based journalist as she had been deported from Malaysia in June while carrying out investigations on her programme. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bar Council seeks lawyers’ nod to sue anyone blocking probe into 1MDB, RM2.6 billion donation

The Malaysian Insider
9 September 2015

The Bar Council wants its members to give their mandate to take legal action against any person responsible for obstructing investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fiasco and the case of the RM2.6 billion “donation” channelled into the prime minister’s private accounts.

This is among the suggestions forwarded by president of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru, who will move the motion at its emergency general meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Copies of the motion were sent to 16,000 lawyers in the peninsula yesterday.

A copy of the motion, sighted by The Malaysian Insider, also stated that the Bar mandates the council to take steps to affirm and preserve the rule of law, to uphold the Federal Constitution and to protect the administration of justice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Najib serious in wanting to sue WSJ?

By Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Jul 24, 2015

MP SPEAKS By now everyone on this planet knows that The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has made a very serious allegation against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The allegations may be true or false and only Najib is able to determine that.

If he really cares about protecting his reputation, he has no choice but to put the record straight by suing WSJ for defamation.

The issue now is whether he is willing to do that.

For the record, so far, Najib has sued several individuals for defamation. He has sued MPs Tony Pua, Rafizi Ramli and Nga Kor Ming; Dr Rosli Yaakob (Harakah); and Taufek Yahya ( All the suits have been filed in Malaysian courts.

It is interesting to note here that Harakah’s Rosli is being sued for an article which substantially contained reports from The New York Times (NYT).

When asked by reporters as to why he decided to sue, Najib stated that he has to protect his integrity as well as his family’s reputation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Useless watchdogs, Tinju Dunia and 1MDB

Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
23 July 2015

“It would appear… [that] Cerberus, the mythological three-headed hound guarding the gates of Hell, virtually guided and controlled the destinies of the Bank and held its fortunes in [the hands of the 3 accused]. The analogy is perhaps not inappropriate in view of the canine element injected into these proceedings, what with references to watchdogs, toothless, barkless, spineless, chained and all, Government or otherwise, and not forgetting the Press hounds.”

That quote is from Justice Abdoolcader’s 1976 judgment (upheld on appeal in 1978) at the conclusion of the 2 months long trial of Datuk Haji Harun bin Haji Idris & 2 others.

Abdoolcader explicated various aspects of the law. And, in ripe words, he caricatured the so-called watchdogs: toothless, barkless, spineless, chained. Read the rest of this entry »

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Judiciary in spotlight as Najib heads to court to clear name, say lawyers

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
22 July 2015

The Malaysian judiciary, already perceived as being subservient to the executive, could be under further strain now that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has filed defamation suits against his political rivals and some media outlets, lawyers said.

Whether the suits were in his personal capacity or not, lawyers said Najib’s administration would have to contend with public perception of him going to court for defamation – making him the first sitting Malaysian prime minister to do so.

Najib, as head of the executive arm of government, has a role in the appointment and promotion of judges. The prime minister appoints some members of the Judicial Appointments Commission, which selects judges.

While he still has the right to legal recourse, lawyers said it would be better for the prime minister to reply to criticism by engaging the media and to speak in Parliament to clarify issues.

Lawyer S.N. Nair said Najib’s moves to sue has certainly placed the judiciary in state of discomfort. Read the rest of this entry »

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by Nithin Coca
Equal Times
2 June 2015

First, it was the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Then, senior journalists and editors at the country’s top independent media website.

Bloggers followed, even a political cartoonist.

Over several months, Malaysia’s leaders have, piece-by-piece, used colonial-era laws to turn the country, long considered one of the shining lights of south-east Asia, firmly towards authoritarianism.

“Over the past year, the government has harassed, targeted and even imprisoned a wide range of individuals considered possible ‘threats’ – including opposition politicians, human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists,” said Josef Benedict, Asia-Pacific Campaigner for Amnesty International, based in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

Behind this unprecedented crackdown are signs of a ruling party losing grip on power, as its rule, built on an economy dependent on natural resource exports and a fragile racial and religious balance, threatens to unravel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction lowers the bar on the Malaysian legal system

Amanda Whiting, University of Melbourne
East Asia Forum
13 April 2015

These are dangerous times for the rule of law in Malaysia. The Federal Court’s decision on 10 February 2015 to affirm Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s criminal conviction for ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ is shocking, but entirely predictable.

For a while, it seemed that domestic and international condemnation of the harassment of Anwar and the political misuse of draconian laws against opposition politicians and social activists had worked to improve Malaysia’s legal system. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) government appeared to have taken on board the response to the 1998–2004 ‘Sodomy I’ legal proceedings against Anwar, and broader criticisms of its authoritarian rule. But the ‘Sodomy II’ proceedings and their aftermath suggest otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Khalid reveal who were the police officers sent to Sydney to question Sirul and when to prove Sirul was wrong in accusing the IGP of lying

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is on the losing side in his spat with former police commando, convicted murderer of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and fugitive in Australia, Sirul Azhar Umar.

Sirul had accused the IGP of lying when the police chief said that he had sent his men to Australia to meet the fugitive.

Sirul, who is currently held in the immigration detention centre in Villawood, Sydney, has categorically denied this in his phone interview with Malaysiakini, declaring unequivocally:

“Let me tell you, there were no officers or police personnel who met me in Australia.

“He (IGP) is lying to the police force and lying to the public with his claims, and is trying to protect his boss.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Vohrah: Whistleblower judge should be compensated

By Hafiz Yatim
Apr 2, 2015

The government should compensate whistleblower judge Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah Idid, said former Court of Appeal judge KC Vohrah.

Syed Ahmad Idid was forced to resign after making revelations of wrongdoing in the judiciary in 1996.

Vohrah, now a consultant with law firm Lee, Hishammuddin, Allen and Gledhill, also commended Malaysiakini for highlighting Syed Ahmad Idid’s plight after so many years.

“Syed Ahmad Idid deserves it (compensation),” he told Malaysiakini recently in response to an interview this news portal had with Syed Ahmad Idid, a former High Court judge last month.

Syed Ahmad Idid in that interview had commended the revelations made by Vohrah in an article for the Court of Appeal, Malaysia, 1994-2014, 20th Anniversary book, published last year.

Syed Ahmad Idid had said he felt vindicated with Vohrah’s exposure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Amendment to Motion of Thanks to direct the PAC and the Police to immediately investigate the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal without waiting for Auditor General’s Report on 1MDB

There are many other issues which explain why Malaysia is now teetering on a crisis as a result of the economic and political gridlock paralyzing the country.

As time does not permit a discussion of all these issues, I will just quickly refer to some of them:

* Malaysia’s reputation as a country safe for investors received a grievious blow when a series of judicial decisions raised national and international questions as to whether Malaysia had restored its previous high international repute for a truly independent judiciary and just rule of law because of the following cases:

i. the Federal Court’s 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal and five-year jail sentence in Sodomy II trial;

ii. the Federal Court’s decision to convict and sentence to death former police commando Azila Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, while leaving completely open the question of motive for the murder and who had ordered Azila and Sirul to murder Altantuya;

iii. the expose by retired Court of Appeal judge Justice K.C. Vohrah that former Chief Justice Eusoff Chin had caused a miscarriage of justice in the infamous Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case two decades ago;
iv.the black-listing, discrimination and continued by-passing of Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohamad Hishamudin Mohd Yunus from elevation to the Federal Court;

v. the victimization of the country’s first judicial whistleblower, former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid, who was penalized instead of being rewarded. Read the rest of this entry »

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