Archive for October, 2007

An Open Letter to Sultan Azlan Shah

Your Royal Highness,

Thank you very much for portraying the truth about the state of the country’s judiciary and your accompanying clarion call for major reforms in the judiciary during your opening address at the 14th Malaysian Law Conference recently.

You acknowledged with sadness that “there has been some disquiet about our judiciary over the past few years and in the more recent past… there have been even more disturbing events relating to the judiciary reported in the press”.

“We have also witnessed the unprecedented act of a former Court of Appeal judge writing in his post-retirement book of erroneous and questionable judgments delivered by our higher courts in a chapter under the heading ‘When Justice is Not Administered According to Law’.”

You highlighted “serious criticisms” against the judiciary such as delayed judgments and backlog in cases as a result of incompetence. You gave the example of a case of medical negligence involving a death of a lawyer which took 23 years to reach the Court of Appeal.

“Similarly there have been reports that some judges have taken years to write their grounds of judgments involving accused persons who have been convicted and languishing in death row.” (Like the judge who failed to deliver 35 judgments including four in which the convicted are languishing in jail despite being sentenced to death seven years ago?)

“Surely, such a situation cannot be tolerated in any progressive nation,” Your Royal Highness so very aptly concluded. The powers that be should therefore understand why the lawyers walked, the people talked and the rest blogged.

You have rightly pointed out that this is not the first time that you have expressed grave concern over the judiciary: “In 2004, I had stated that it grieved me, having been a member of the judiciary, whenever I heard allegations against the judiciary and the erosion of public confidence in the judiciary.” Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia: The People Are Fed Up

By Farish A. Noor

At a recent Law Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, bluntly told the country’s lawyers that demonstrations and protests about the apparent mismanagement of the country will do little to change things but will only give the ‘wrong impression’ that ‘something is wrong in the country’, and that this will scare aware foreign investors. The Malaysian leader was alluding to a recent protest march organised by the country’s lawyers which saw more than two thousand lawyers march up to the Prime Minister’s office in the capital of Putrajaya demanding reform of the judicial process and serious enquiries into the conduct and election of judges in Malaysia. Perhaps the Prime Minister was also alluding to the planned march on 10th November organised by NGOs like BERSIH which have called for free and fair elections in the country, supported by opposition parties like the Peoples Justice Party (PKR), the Malaysian Islamic party (PAS) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) of Malaysia as well.

What began as a relatively small event has now grown into what may become a landmark moment in Malaysian history: The march’s organisers aim to gather 100,000 citizens at the Merdeka (Independence) Square of the city and then march on to the national palace to present their petition to the King (Agong) himself, calling for the Monarch to intervene and look into their complaints about the poor governance of the country on issues ranging from corruption to abuse of power by the leaders of the ruling UMNO party and the government. As Latheefa Koya of the People’s Justice Party notes: “BERSIH’s march marks a crucial point in Malaysian history where people from all walks of life, and not just political parties, demand free and fair elections in Malaysia. By doing so they are in fact calling for greater participation in the democratic process”. The King has already signalled that he is prepared to receive the petition, while other rulers such as Sultan Azlan Shah of the state of Perak have publicly bemoaned the state of the judiciary in Malaysia.

While it is true that Malaysia is not Burma, it is striking to note how intolerant the state is when it comes to popular expressions of the people’s will in the country. Predictably the Malaysian government has reacted to the proposed march on 10th November with the usual round of threats: Those who attend the demonstration will be regarded as trouble makers and due action will be taken, the government-controlled news agencies have already warned. Read the rest of this entry »


Police at war with itself

Before Parliament adjourned at 7.30 pm, I asked the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Foo Ah Kiow to give a proper, informed and satisfactory report on the unprecedented phenomenon of “the police at war with itself” as well as “at war” with the Internal Security Ministry when he resumes his reply on behalf of his Ministry on the 2008 Budget tomorrow.

I had referred in particular to the three-page press statement earlier in the day by the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Ramli Yusuff, where he made serious allegations about victimization of CCID officers by the police and mistreatment by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

Ramli confirmed that he was the police officer being investigated for amassing RM27 million in undeclared assets and denied that he had amassed RM27 million.

Ramli said he had “until today remained silent about developments in the police force, in particular, the arrest and prosecution of officers of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) who are alleged to have falsified statements of confidential informants in connection with the banishment of one Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku”.

Goh, who was alleged to be an underworld kingpin in Johore, was ordered to be detained on the directive of Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Johari Baharom based on the intelligence gathered by police officers of CCID.

Goh was eventually “banished” to Jeli, Kelantan and subsequently applied to the High Court to set aside Johari’s banishment order.

In Parliament today, I read out five paragraphs from Ramli’s three-page statement, viz:

“In an unprecedented stance, the legal adviser of the Ministry of Internal Security, an officer of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, declined to advise and direct my officers and I (to) prepare affidavits of the events surrounding the preparation of the investigative papers on Goh for the benefit of the deputy minister of internal security.

“Those affidavits were to be filed in the High Court arising from the application by Goh to have his banishment order set aside. Given the constraints of time, we, the officers of the CCID, sought legal advice from a private law practice who advised and assisted in the preparation of the draft affidavits concerned. Read the rest of this entry »


Judicial independence – Sultan Azlan Shah’s “disquiet” only that of one person?

In my Open Letter to Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim last Tuesday to act in the national interest to restore public confidence in the judiciary by withdrawing his controversial application for a six-month extension, I had quoted extensively from former Lord President, Perak Sultan Azlan Shah’s April 2004 postscript to his book “Constitutional Monarchy, Rule of Law and Good Governance” over the “disquiet” at the erosion of public confidence in the judiciary over the previous few years.

I had said that Sultan Azlan Shah’s “critique of the parlous state of the judiciary is even more pertinent today than when he wrote it in April 2004, with the entire period falling under your (Ahmad Fairuz) term as Chief Justice — a powerful reason why Tun should avert a constitutional crisis and a new crisis of confidence over the judiciary over the controversial application for a six-month extension.”

This has been confirmed by Sultan Azlan Shah In his opening speech at the 14th Malaysia Law Conference yesterday, as he said:

Sadly I must acknowledge there has been some disquiet about our judiciary over the past few years and in the more recent past. In 2004, I had stated that it grieved me, having been a member of the judiciary, whenever I heard allegations against the judiciary and the erosion of public confidence in the judiciary.

Recently there have been even more disturbing events relating to the judiciary reported in the press. We have also witnessed the unprecedented act of a former Court of Appeal judge writing in his post-retirement book of erroneous and questionable judgements delivered by our higher courts in a chapter under the heading “When Justice is Not Administered According to Law”. There are other serious criticisms.

I am driven nostalgically to look back to a time when our Judiciary was the pride of the region, and our neighbours spoke admiringly of our legal system. We were then second to none and the judgements of our courts were quoted confidently in other common law jurisdictions. As Tun Suffian, a former Lord President of the then Federal Court, said of the local judges who took over from the expatriate judges after Merdeka that the transformation was without “any reduction in standards”.

Admittedly society is more complex today and the task of judges may be more difficult then what it was before, but the values I speak of are universal and eternal.

There is no reason why judges with the assured security of tenure they enjoy under the Constitution should not discharge their duties impartially, confidently and competently.

Will the de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz dismiss Sultan Azlan Shah’s increasing “disquiet” about the crisis of confidence in the judiciary as a “false” perception and baseless allegation of one person, in the way he dismissed the concern of Malaysian Bar on the ground that it is no “big deal” as only 1,000 out of 13,000 lawyers or 26 million Malaysians had taken part in the “Walk for Justice” to the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya?


50-50 whether next general election this year or next year

With Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi celebrating his fourth anniversary as the fifth Prime Minister in two days’ time, which also marks more than 3 years and 7 months after his unprecedented landslide victory in the 2004 general election, the question everyone is asking is the date for the next general election.

There are three possibilities for the 12th general election in Malaysia:

1. This year, with November 25 as the “hottest” date, with Abdullah in this scenario announcing dissolution of Parliament at the end of the Umno General Assembly on Nov. 9;

2. Before end of next April with the “hottest date” in mid-March, 2008 before Anwar Ibrahim regains his civil liberties to stand for elective office; and

3. After April next year as there appears to be growing support in Umno for the school of thought that the next general election should “exorcise” the Anwar factor and not allow it to haunt Umno after the next general election on the ground that the election outcome would have been very different if Anwar had been allowed to contest — and based on the confidence that Umno is enjoying a very favourable political climate in the Malay heartland and the Umno constituencies.

Read the rest of this entry »


Another Promised Change!

by M. Bakri Musa

In a recent meeting with media representatives, Chief Secretary to the Government (its topmost civil servant) Sidek Hassan assured the public that civil servants must now “perform or face the music.” He also revealed the demotions of senior officers, including a few in the “super scale” grade and a Director-General.

Sidek’s assurance was undoubtedly in response to the damning indictments in the recent Auditor General’s Report. (What else is new?) The Chief Secretary went on with promises of more actions. Let us hope that his pledge is for real. We have been through all these promised changes before, so citizens’ cynicism is understandable.

The civil service cannot be improved merely through edicts from high above. No less than Prime Minister Abdullah had made many similar pledges before.

As the top civil servant, Sidek cannot effect meaningful changes until he knows the details of the various operations under him. Not all of them; he needs study only two or three processes in some detail, identify the problems, and then solve them. With that he could teach others and replicate the success elsewhere.

All too often our top civil servants and ministers are content only with mere utterances: “Be productive!” “Compete with the best!” Unless they know the details of the operations of their departments, identify and eliminate the redundant processes, they could not hope to improve their services. These senior officers should not expect their overworked line workers to come up with innovative solutions. Besides, they lack the necessary knowledge or skills. Read the rest of this entry »


PM boycotts Law Conference (updated)

“Bar Council’s conference scores double firsts” was the Sunday Star headline report for the three-day 14th Malaysian Law Conference 2007 themed “50 Years of Merdeka” at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre beginning today.

The Sunday Star headline was right but the “double firsts” will be for completely different reasons.

Last night, I learnt that the de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who in a lengthy New Sunday Times interview yesterday asked “Where got crisis of the judiciary?”, will not be closing the Conference on Wednesday as announced in the Conference Programme.

This morning, I learn that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, will be boycotting the Law Conference, although he is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the opening session from 9.40 am – 10.30 am after the opening by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.

Where got judicial crisis? Where got constitutional crisis?

Postscript – The Prime Minister is inviting all participants of the Law Conference to an unscheduled dinner at Hotel Renaissance tonight.

Malaysiakini reported that Abdullah will read his keynote address meant for delivery at the Law Conference this morning at the dinner.

Malaysiakini also reported that Abdullah “cancelled his appearance at the opening ceremony at the eleventh hour to officiate the launch of the East Coast Economic Region project” in Kuala Terengganu.


Apology from PM Abdullah to 106 Ops Lalang ISA detainees

At this hour on this day 20 years ago, Lim Guan Eng, who had been elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka for just a year, had already been detained as the first of 106 detainees representing a wide spectrum of dissent, including MPs, civil rights leaders, Chinese educationists and social activists in the Operation Lalang mass arrests under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

By this hour 20 years ago, Karpal Singh and I had also been detained, when together with other DAP MPs we went to the High Street Kuala Lumpur Police Station over Guan Eng’s detention.

The 1987 Ops Lalang mass ISA detentions was not only a black day for human rights in Malaysia, it also marked the most relentless assault on democracy in Malaysia and we are still paying the consequences of that assault — which stemmed from the fight for political survival of the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who was faced with the greatest challenge to his power position from within Umno.

One upshot of Mahathir’s battle for his political life 20 years ago was the Operation Lalang and 106 ISA detainees and another was the subversion of the doctrine of the separation of powers, with Parliament and the judiciary subordinated as subservient organs of the Prime Minister.

The seeds for the 1988 judiciary crisis over the arbitrary and unconstitutional sacking of Tun Saleh Abas as Lord President and Datuk George Seah and the late Tan Sri Wan Suleman Pawanteh as Supreme Court judges were sown at this period.

Even before the Operation Lalang, there were moves by Mahathir to subjugate the judiciary and I had publicly spoken up against a proposal to move a substantive motion in Parliament to censure the then High Court judge, the late Justice Harun Hashim, as a lesson to all judges to toe the Executive line.

Today, Malaysia is still paying a heavy price for the fateful decisions taken 20 years ago to undermine the democratic fundamentals in the country as represented by the doctrine of the separation of powers — with the country reeling from one judiciary crisis to another in the past two decades, the latest over the failure of judicial leadership of the Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, the Lingam Tape scandal, Ahmad Fairuz preposterous application for a six-month extension as Chief Justice from Nov. 1 and whether Malaysia will have an UMNO Chief Justice for the first time in 50 years. Read the rest of this entry »


Cold-blooded killing of two cops, Jayabalan and Alagesan, condemned by all Malaysians

Malaysians are shocked and revolted by the cold-blooded killing of two police inspectors, L/Kpl K. Jayabalan from the Gombak police and detective L/Kpl M. Alagesan from the city police headquarters during a drug bust in Sungai Buloh on Thursday night and the killers must be hunted down and brought to justice.

Deepest condolences to the families of the two cops who died in the course of duty. It is both an outrage and tragedy that their families will be grieving instead of having a Deepavali celebration in a fortnight’s time.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Internal Security Minister, said the deaths of the two police officers during the drug raid could have been avoided if the police had adopted a proper strategy and followed procedures.

The avoidable death of two police officers cannot be taken lightly, and if the Prime Minister is right, then there should be a full inquiry as to why the correct strategy and procedures had not been followed and who were responsible for such negligence resulting in the unnecessary sacrificing of two cops.

Parliament and the nation are entitled to know what lessons are being learnt if the deaths of the two police inspectors were the cause of avoidable negligence and sloppiness on the part of the police in carrying out a drug bust — and what measures the government and the police are taking to help the two bereaved families who are afflicted with the irreplaceable losses. Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t create new CJ crisis with appointment of first Umno CJ in 50 years

There is growing concern that to avoid a grave constitutional crisis that will erupt with the extension of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as Chief Justice after Nov. 1, the country may be plunged to another equally grave crisis of confidence in the independence and integrity of the judiciary — the appointment of an UMNO Chief Justice for the first time in the 50-year history of Malaysia, namely Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi.

The appointment of Zaki as Federal Court Judge in early September, which involved an unprecedented “triple jump” without first serving as judge of High Court and Court of Appeal, was the first in the nation’s 50-year history, raising the question whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was paving the way to appoint Zaki as a future Chief Justice.

Nobody questions the legal qualifications and capabilities of Zaki but there are many legitimate questions as to the suitability of his judicial appointment, in particular as Chief Justice.

Is the country going to start the second half-century of nationhood with an UMNO Chief Justice, when for five decades, there had never been any judge who could be said to be an Umno judge in terms of his party membership and his long services to Umno as a political party.

For the past 22 years, Zaki was an active Umno member and lawyer, representing Umno in many controversial and even dubious Umno cases, culminating variously as head of Umno legal advisor, head of Umno disciplinary committee panel and in 2001 as Deputy Chairman of Umno Disciplinary Board of Appeal. Read the rest of this entry »


Firefly and Subang

by Z. Ibrahim

It is said sometimes that there are only two categories of people in this world. Employers and employees, entrepreneurs and wage seekers, risk takers and non-risk takers.

Employees in general are content with salaries and allowances commensurate with their experience, qualifications and working hours.

Entrepreneurs however, take huge risks by actually starting a new entity or business which generally requires workers and capital outlay. Entrepreneurs are greatly respected in open markets such as the United States. Malaysia had a similar tradition which included the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

The long drawn out silent battle to acquire Subang as an air terminal between Air Asia and MAS was plain to everyone. Which carrier should the government support? Neither. Only the market must be allowed to determine who prevails or survives.

If Subang is to be changed again to an air terminal, every airline including both Air Asia and MAS must be given a go at it. To sneakily allow MAS’s Firefly to operate from Subang on the basis that its turbo-prop planes are environmentally friendly to residents around the airport is to encourage a lop-sided policy of quiet favoritism, possibly because the government has a share in MAS.

This would be sending the wrong signal to venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, investors and FDIs.This inequality may translate into businesses and capital running out of the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Haris Ibrahim, well done!

Well done, Haris Ibrahim of The People’s Parliament, for his initiative in launching and submitting 5,036 signatures to the Yang di Pertuan Agong in his online petition for royal intervention for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape scandal on the perversion of the course of justice implicating the Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim.

Haris, one of the country’s most distinguished human right advocates, submitted the petition with the signatures to the Istana Negara at 10.35 am this morning — exceeding the 5,000-signature target he had set.

Haris had wound up the signature petition earlier than expected in view of the meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Wednesday, 31st October 2007.

However, Malaysians who wish to support the “Save The Judiciary” online petition can still do so as Haris is prepared to submit a second batch of signatures before the Conference of Rulers meeting — giving a three-day window for a final push for the campaign.

As Haris told the Malaysiakini:

“If there are sufficient signatures, we’ll deliver them to His Majesty’s office so that more Malaysians can express their concerns to the monarch”.

Those who have not endorsed the “Save the Judiciary” online petition should do so immediately.


Abdullahs’ 4th anniversary as PM – marked by constitutional crisis with no CJ after Nov. 1?

The question uppermost in many minds is whether the fourth anniversary of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi next week will be marked by his biggest constitutional crisis with the country without a Chief Justice for the first time in 50 years.

It is open secret that the application by Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim for a six-month extension as Chief Justice from November 1 has catapulted the country to the precipice of a national crisis, as it is not only opposed by the Bar Council and the civil society but also by the Conference of Rulers.

In his 55 months as Chief Justice, Ahmad Fairuz had chalked up a catalogue of failures of judicial leadership, particularly:

  • His failure to build on the efforts of his predecessor Tun Abdullah Dzaiddin take the country to another critical level to restore national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and quality of the judiciary in the tradition of the three distinguished Lord Presidents of the country, Tun Suffian, Tun Raja Azlan Shah and Tun Saleh Abas;
  • His mishandling of the appointment of a new Chief Judge of Malaya to succeed Tan Sri Siti Normah Yaakob on 5th January 2007 after a six-month extension, resulting in a seven-month stand-off with the Conference of Rulers and a most deplorable situation where the country was left without a proper and lawful Chief Judge of Malaya for over seven months;
  • His embroilment in the Lingam Tape scandal to the extent that the Chief Justice has become a “fugitive” from the media and the public, with the Hari Raya party of the judicial and legal service yesterday declared completely “off-limits” for the media just because the Chief Justice was attending and was afraid to be asked questions about his role and involvement in the Lingam Tape scandal!

There can be three scenarios after the meeting of the Conference of Rulers on Wednesday and Thursday: Read the rest of this entry »


Zam – Info Minister under coconut shell or bidding to be Mat Rempit “Godfather”?

Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin has provided proof that he runs the Information Ministry like a frog under the coconut shell blissfully unaware that in the era of globalization and international competitiveness Malaysia cannot turn a blind eye to complaints, whether by Malaysians or foreigners, about misgovernance.

I am astounded that the former veteran journalist could be so mischievous and irresponsible as to issue a formal statement yesterday accusing me of acts akin to being “anti-national” for bringing a foreigner to Parliament “to express his views on the democratic and security system in the country”.

He said such things would not have happened in any other country, especially when the case mentioned was still under police investigation .

Zainuddin cannot be more wrong. I have no doubt that in developed countries which Malaysia aspires to become in 2020, using the Parliament to ventilate the grievances of nationals and foreigners in the country would be common occurrence and would not be the subject of any official comment.

What would be eye-raising is having the Information Minister of the country disgracing himself, Parliament and the nation by making myopic and xenophobic statements as if foreigners have no rights in the country and Malaysia has no duty and responsibility to protect the safety and security of foreign tourists, visitors and professionals working as consultants in the country.

Let me clarify from the outset that the Canadian consultant, Manjit Sokhai did not come to Parliament on Wednesday “to express his views on the democratic and security system in the country” but to complain to the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance about the menace of Mat Rempitism, of which he was the most recent victim. Read the rest of this entry »


Insensitive, ignorant, deplorable and abhorrenst attack on the Disabled (OKU)

The three protests by Peter Tan (Independent Living Programme for People with Disabilities), Assoc Prof Dr. Tium Linga Ta (Society for the Orthopaedically Disabled) and Bathmavathi Krishnan (Malaysian Spinal Injuries Association) in the Letters’ Page in the New Straits Times today represents not only the views of the disabled community but all decent and right-thinking Malaysians.

As Peter Tan wrote:

AS a wheelchair user for the last 23 years, I am absolutely upset with Jerai member of parliament Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin for telling fellow-MP Karpal Singh that the latter’s use of a wheelchair is a punishment from God (“Kar-pal: Lawyer wrote part of judgment for civil suit” — NST, Oct 23).

Badruddin’s remark is an affront to all wheelchair users, implying that our condition is a punishment and that we are all sinners.

I have been using a wheelchair long enough to have experienced many times such drivel from holier-than-thou people. People must be educated that being disabled is one of the things that can happen to anybody. People can become disabled. People can become afflicted with diseases. It is part of life. Read the rest of this entry »


Ahmad Fairuz’ extension will provoke new firestorm of protests – Abdullah should submit nominee for new CJ to Rulers’ Conference

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should be fully aware that any extension of the tenure of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as Chief Justice from next month, whether for six or two months, will provoke a new firestorm of nation-wide protests from lawyers, the civil society and Malaysians, plunging the new crisis of confidence in the judiciary which had haunted the nation for the past month because of the Lingam Tape scandal, to its nadir.

It would mean that Abdullah would have a judicial crisis of confidence which is not inherited from the previous Mahathir era, but a complete product of the Abdullah premiership.

Abdullah should avert such a controversy by submitting a nominee as new Chief Justice to succeed Fairuz to the Conference of Rulers next week.

Ahmad Fairuz’ position as an outstanding Chief Justice has not been helped by recent revelation of his poor record in writing judgments, with only four reported judgments in his name in his four years seven months as Chief Justice, — i.e. less than one judgment per year! Read the rest of this entry »


Sudden flurry of ACA activities – just intensified pre-election PR as 4 yrs ago?

There has been a sudden flurry of Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) activities — with the ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan courageously declaring: “We do not discriminate. Small fry or big fish, we will go after them if they are corrupt”.

This was on the same day that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited the ACA and after a “brief meeting” with its top management and state directors, publicly praised the ACA for a job well done, with the following summing-up by Ahmad: “He (the Prime Minister) said he thought we were doing a good job, he is happy, and wants us to continue doing our best.”

There has been a sudden flurry of ACA activities in the past few days — but is this evidence of new ACA independence to root out corruption or just intensified PR (Public Relations) and replay of the high-profile pre-election anti-corruption action four years ago which fizzled into nothing?

In a week’s time, Abdullah will be completing his fourth year as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The high hopes which Abdullah had raised among Malaysians to initiate government reforms and wipe out corruption are still fresh in the minds of the people.

When Abdullah became Prime Minister, the country was told that 18 high-profile personalities — the ikan yu (sharks) – would be arrested and prosecuted but four years later, not a single high-profile personality had been brought to justice, while most of the 18 “ikan yu” have escaped and are swimming merrily in the South China Sea.

If it is true that Abdullah had given the ACA “a pat on the back for a job well done”, then what was it that Abdullah was happy about the track record of the ACA in the past four years to wipe out corruption? Read the rest of this entry »


Mat Rempit lawlessness – time for PM to give personal attention to end menace

The Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance has received a complaint from the latest victim of Mat Rempits — Manjit Sokhai, 43, a Canadian consultant from Montreal who comes to Malaysia three to four times a year in connection with his work.

Manjit was driving his four-wheel drive along Jalan Rasah, Seremban at about 11pm on Saturday Oct 20, with three friends from India when he was confronted by some 40 Mat Rempits on motorcycles, who assaulted him and went on to damage his vehicle, smashing the rear lights, wipers and number plate.

Manjit is here and he will give you his traumatic encounter with the Mat Rempits.

Mat Rempits going on a rampage, causing harm to innocent people and property, has become too common an occurrence.

These were some of the reports in the mass media in the past two months on Mat Rempit rampage and violence in the country:

1. Merdeka celebrations took a nasty turn at Dataran Hadhari, Teluk Batik, Perak early 1st September 2007 when some Mat Rempits reacted violently against the police by wrecking one patrol car and breaking the rear window of another. This happened at 1.30am when a police inspector tried to detain a man, sparking angry protests from more than 100 Mat Rempits, who surrounded the police car, kicked its doors and ripped off the radio antenna. The police officer escaped unharmed.

2. A senior citizen, Yusoff Abdullah, 69, was knocked and killed by a Mat Rempit in Pasir Tumboh, Kota Bharu early morning on 8th September. The Mat Rempit who hit Yusoff, Ahmad Fuad Ariffin, 19 also died on the spot.

3. Two Mat Rempits who were not happy with police having a road block attacked Merbok Police Station in Sungai Petani with petrol bombs at about 1am, 27th August 2007. Nobody was injured.

4. A group of ten Mat Rempits turned violent and attacked a police car and a few policemen in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur, a Mat Rempit favourite spot early on the night of 30th September 2007. When they were blocked by the traffic police, they turned violent and attacked the police before leaving.

5. Mohd Fairus Abdul Aziz, 21, a restaurant worker was killed after he fell from his motorcycle in Jalan Tun Razak near the US Embassy where he was surrounded and kicked by five Mat Rempits at about 5:40 am on 11th October 2007. Fairus was about to send her girl friend home after work when he was surrounded by the Mat Rempits who wanted to take her girl friend away.

6. Wan Asmadi Wan Ahmad, 36, a senior officer from Road Transport Department Enforcement Unit was hit by a Mat Rempit in an Ops Sikap XIII operation in Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Ipoh at about 10:15 pm on 21st October 2007. His legs were broken and he suffered serious head injuries. Read the rest of this entry »


Open Letter to Ahmad Fairuz – withdraw application for 6-mth extension and support RCI

I am calling this media conference to issue an Open Letter to the Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim that for the national interest and to restore public confidence in the judiciary, he should withdraw his application for six-month extension on his retirement at the end of the month and to give full support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape.

This is my Open Letter to Tun Ahmad Fairuz:

Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim,
Chief Justice of Federal Court,

Dear Tun,

Withdraw application for six-month extension and give full support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Lingam Tape and to restore public confidence in the judiciary

I am taking this unprecedented step of issuing this Open Letter to ask you to act in the national interest and to restore public confidence in the judiciary by withdrawing your application for six-month extension on your due retirement at the end of the month and to give full support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape.

Such an action on your part will avert a new constitutional crisis over your controversial application for a six-month extension as well as a new crisis of confidence in the judiciary.

Former Lord President Sultan Azlan Shah in his postscript to his book “Constitutional Monarchy, Rule of Law and Good Governance” (pp 399 — 401) in April 2004 had written:

“Sadly, over the past few years there has been some disquiet about the judiciary. Several articles have been written, and many opinions expressed, both internationally and locally, that the independence of our judiciary has been compromised. It has been said that there has been an erosion of public confidence in our judiciary.

“Concerns have been expressed that some judges were not writing judgments, or that there were long delays in obtaining decisions or hearing dates in certain instances. Further, the conduct of certain judges was being questioned in public… Read the rest of this entry »


Ahmad Fairuz’ unproductive record as CJ in writing judgments

Both the Lingam Tape and Fairuz Tape scandals were featured in today’s parliamentary proceeding.

On Barisan Nasional MP for Gerik, Datuk Dr. Wan Hashim bin Wan The’s query during Question Time on the “overlapping of jurisdiction between the Syariah Court and the Civil Court”, I put in a supplementary question on the Fairuz Tape (tape recording of a media interview by the Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim in August advocating the abolition of the Common Law).

I pointed out that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had denied on behalf of Ahmad Fairuz in Parliament last month that the Chief Justice had made such a proposal, and the Fairuz Tape was proof that Najib had been made use of by the Chief Justice to mislead Parliament on the issue.

I said that if Ahmad Fairuz could lead Nazri to mislead Parliament in what he had actually said as proven by the Fairuz Tape, the Chief Justice could again mislead Nazri in his second denial that he was the other person at the end of the telephone conversion in the Lingam Tape scandal on the perversion of the course of justice.

In his reply, Nazri gave a new spin to Ahmad Fairuz’ media conference. Nazri did not deny the Fairuz Tape transcript but played down its significance claiming that the Chief Justice was pressed by reporters to offer his opinion that there was “no need” for the country to continue with the Common Law!

When I gave a copy of the Fairuz Tape to Nazri outside the Chamber, I stressed that the Chief Justice had sworn to uphold the constitution and he had been unfaithful to his oath of office when he proposed abandonment of a fundamental constitutional principle which was part of the Merdeka social contract, which was one of the charges of judicial misconduct preferred against former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas to justify the establishment of a Judicial Tribunal and his subsequent sacking from the highest judicial post of the land in 1988.

During the continuation of the debate on the 2008 Budget later in the morning, DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukti Glubor, Karpal Singh spoke, focusing on the Lingam Tape and the Chief Justice. Read the rest of this entry »