Archive for category Judiciary

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The Star managing director Datuk Steven Tan told his top management that the newspaper’s publishing permit had been withdrawn with immediate effect.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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Country should make reparations and restore justice and honour to former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid, the country’s first judicial whistleblower who was victimized and punished instead of being rewarded for his act of supreme loyalty to his oath of office as a judge

The country should make reparations and restore justice and honour to former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah Idid, the country’s first judicial whistleblower who was victimized and punished instead of being rewarded for his act of supreme loyalty to his oath of office as a judge.

If Syed Ahmad Idid’s whistleblowing in March 1996 had been heeded, resulting in thorough investigations and root-and-branch reform of the judiciary 19 years ago, Malaysian judges, lawyers and citizens would have been able to stand tall in the world today because we would have a judiciary nationally and internationally respected for its independence, integrity and quality!

Now, Malaysian judiciary in 2015 is back in the dock of public opinion, both inside the country and internationally, over the independence, integrity and professionalism of its judiciary and its commitment to a just rule of law because of four cases this year, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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The release of Nik Raina

Azrul Mohd Khalib
The Malay Mail Online
MARCH 4, 2015

MARCH 4 — To say that it had been an emotional morning would be an understatement. The judge had just delivered his ruling and Nik Raina’s head had turned sharply to the back to glance at her boss. Everyone in that courtroom pretty much expected an application by the prosecutor for another lengthy six-month sojourn of the Nik Raina-Borders case to be granted, depriving her yet again of reprieve and justice.

Discharge of the charges was certainly not what anyone expected to hear that day in the Shariah courtroom.

Just a moment before, everyone had heard the response from the prosecutor to lawyer Rosli Dahlan’s impassioned plea on behalf of Nik Raina for compassion, kindness and understanding from the court. To correct an injustice which had been inflicted and sustained for three years.

It was her problem, the prosecutor responded, if she felt that she had suffered humiliation, embarrassment and anguish as a result of this case.

He continued by saying that her decision to take the case to the civil court amounted to disrespect of the Shariah court system and that her actions resulted in the prolonging of the case. Basically that it was Nik Raina’s own fault that it had come to three years since that fateful day in 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will the Cabinet continue the traditional three monkeys role of “eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not” or will they take the bull by the horn to address the three issues which dominate public opinion in past week?

Just before midnight, a Cabinet Minister tweeted that he had just left his constituency which is about three hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur: “Need to read cabinet papers after I reach home. Tmr morning cabinet meeting as usual.”

My first thought was whether the Cabinet papers would include the thousands of 1MDB transactions and email which 1MDB had tried to “wipe” clean from their computers and servers at the end of last year.

Will the Cabinet papers for all Ministers for the Cabinet meeting later this morning cover at least the three issues which had dominated public opinion in Malaysia in the past week, or will it be another Cabinet meeting to avoid and skirt important national issues like the infamous past Cabinet meetings?

First Issue. Leading the three important issues which should dominate a meaningful Cabinet meeting today is undoubtedly the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, which has been blown wide open by the joint London Sunday Times/Sarawak Report investigations and access to thousands of transactions and email of 1MDB despite abrupt attempts by 1MDB at the end of last year to call in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers to wipe them clean of all emails.

Will the Cabinet end its traditional three monkey stance of “eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not” on the 1MDB scandal for the past six years, take the bull by the horn and decide either to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Law Minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim or other independent credible Malaysians or give support for a full-scale Public Accounts Committee (PAC) public inquiry into the 1MDB scandal? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Chief Justice Malaysia never had!

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Arifin Zakaria should explain whether the Ayer Molek case is one reason why Justice Hishammuddin has been denied elevation to the Federal Court twice – a case of former CJ Eusoffe Chin exacting his final vengeance

Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, who is also Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), should explain whether the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case is one reason why Justice Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus has been by-passed twice and denied elevation to the Federal Court, the first time in September 2013 and the second time in the latest batch of judicial elevations this year – a case of former Chief Justice Tun Eusoffe Chin exactly his final vengeance.

Arifin owes not only the local and international legal and jurist community, but the whole nation, a proper and satisfactory explanation as a series of recent cases and events have put the Malaysian judiciary in the dock as to its ability to uphold a truly independent judiciary with just rule of law.

The latest judicial shocker is the revelation by retired Court of Appeal judge Justice K.C. Vohrah who wrote in an in-house Malaysian judiciary publication last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary that the former chief justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek case in 1995. Read the rest of this entry »

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KC Vohrah: Ex-CJ Eusoff tried to subvert judge

By Hafiz Yatim
Feb 27, 2015

In yet another expose of serious transgressions committed by the Malaysian judiciary, it has now now alleged that former Lord president and Chief Justice Eusoff Chin tried to influence a Court of Appeal judge who was about to hear the appeal of the controversial Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case in 1995.

The subversion has been alleged by a now retired Court of Appeal judge who made the claims in an in-house publication of the Malaysian judiciary last year to mark the Court of Appeal’s 20th anniversary.

Former Justice KC Vohrah – who sat on the panel hearing the Ayer Molek appeal – wrote in his article that one of the judges of the three-memer panel was asked to meet Eusoff.

Besides Vohrah – who was then a High Court judge co-opted to sit at the Court of Appeal – the other judges who sat for the case were Court of Appeal judges NH Chan and Siti Norma Yaakob, the latter who later rose to become the first female Chief Judge of Malaya.

Vohrah alleged in his article – titled – ‘In the Court of Appeal, during the winds of change’ that Eusoff called the judge into to his chambers before the appeal was heard and when the judge entered, the CJ pointed to a pile of files on his table. Read the rest of this entry »

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