Challenge to Ahmad Fairuz – resign as Chief Justice if there is proof he lied and misled Nazri in misleading Parliament with his denial as having advocated abolition of Common Law in August

Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim’s application for six-month extension as Chief Justice should be rejected as he has brought the judiciary into greater disrepute and a new crisis of confidence in the 55 months he was the highest judicial officer of the land.

In fact, in the past month Ahmad Fairuz had gone into hiding since the Lingam Tape expose by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim exactly a month ago, after the Chief Justice was implicated in the latest judicial scandal involving the perversion of the course of justice concerning the fixing of judicial appointments and court decisions — making total nonsense of the important principle of judicial accountability.

It is most scandalous that Ahmad Fairuz had not come out publicly to personally and categorically issue a denial of his involvement in the Lingam Tape scandal and had chosen instead to rely on the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to bat for him and claim that Ahmad Fairuz had phoned him to deny that he was the one talking to Lingam.

Firstly, in depending on a Cabinet Minister to “clear” his name, Ahmad Fairuz had undermined the doctrine of the separation of powers and the important principle of the independence of the judiciary, making the Chief Justice and the head of the Judiciary subservient and beholden to the “favours” of a Cabinet Minister who is from the Executive.

Secondly, the “proxy” denial of Ahmad Fairuz through Nazri lacks credibility, as he had used this stratagem once to deny what he had actually advocated – the abolition of the English common law.

On 5th September 2007, Nazri replied in Parliament to my earlier speech criticizing Ahmad Fairuz’ call for the abolition of the common law system as being most unbecoming of the highest judicial officer of the land sworn to defend and uphold the Constitution and the Merdeka social contract.

Ahmad Fairuz had made such a call at the seminar on the thoughts and academic works of the late Tan Sri Ahmad Ibrahim on August 21, which made the front-page headline in the Utusan Malaysia the next day.

Nazri tried to give a very “slippery” reply. He gave a flat denial that Ahmad Fairuz had ever made such a call for the abolition of the common law system saying that the Chief Justice’s speech made no such mention whatsoever.

Nazri blamed reporters and their poor quality reporting for the mistake. However, when I asked why no correction had been made by Ahmad Fairuz for close to two weeks of the public controversy over his call, Nazri said Parliament was the best forum for the explanation.

Nazri’s explanation is completely unacceptable as under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Chief Justice should not depend on a Cabinet Minister to clarify and explain what the head of the judiciary had said and meant.

The Chief Justices of other Commonwealth countries where the doctrine of separation of powers are given meaningful respect do not depend on Cabinet Ministers to clarify their speeches and statements, and rightly so, and there is no reason why Malaysia should start going down such a slippery path where members of the judiciary have to compromise their independence by depending on members of the executive to extricate them from “tricky” situations of their own creation.

I have reasons to believe that Nazri had been misled by Ahmad Fairuz to mislead Parliament with the denial that the Chief Justice had proposed the abolition of the Common Law.

I challenge Ahmad Fairuz to surface publicly to deny that he had proposed the abolition of the English common law in August and to resign forthwith as Chief Justice if proof could be produced of his advocating the abolition of the Common Law in Malaysia in August this year.

This would have meant that Ahmad Fairuz had lied as well has having misled Nazri into misleading Parliament with his denial as having advocated abolition of Common Law in August.

  1. #1 by malaysia born on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 12:40 pm

    To challenge Ahmad Fairuz to step down is a plain waste of time. With all the statements (or should i say, nonsense) that has been coming out from Nazri’s mouth, it has come to this: The onus is now on the King to do the right thing.

    What a tight spot that these people had put the King into….and they are the ones shouting ‘Daulat Tuanku’ the loudest. What a manipulative bunch.

  2. #2 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 1:10 pm

    Nazri has said that the King MUST listen to the advice of the PM.

    The KIng does not have any real power, and may be restricted to ceremonial duties only.

    Hoping for the King to save Malaysia from those UMNO pirates is out of the question.

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 1:51 pm

    Well we know who took away most of the powers of the royalty in Malaysia.

    Now most of the powers rest with the Executive. The MPs are mainly a rubber stamp; with not a single bleat about the infamous tape.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 1:53 pm

    The question: is it scandalous that Tun Ahmad Fairuz had not come out publicly to personally and categorically issue a denial of his involvement in the Lingam Tape scandal?

    Lord Denning once said, “ It is the right every man, in Parliament or out of it, in the press or over the broadcast, to make fair comment, even outspoken comment, on matters of public interest. Those who comment can deal faithfully with all that is done in the court of justice. They can say that we’re mistaken, and our decisions erroneous, whether they’re subject to appeal or not. All we would ask is that those who criticize us will remember that, from the nature of our office, we cannot reply to their criticisms. We cannot enter into public controversy. Still less into political controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own vindication”.

    Since then it has been a common law precept that in the interest of the dignity of the administration of justice and prevention of undue influence in litigation, it is generally considered undesirable for a judge to respond to criticism of his own actions by appearing in the news media. A judge is expected to be “above the fray” unaffected by the dust of conflict and controversy in the public arena, so to speak. It is for the other independent stakeholders in the administration of justice like, for example, the Bar Council to defend a judge’s conduct, criticized.

    Fairuz is, paradoxically, relying on this common law precept as a camouflage for his silence; he has depended on (in our YB Kit’s words) “Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to bat for him and claim that Ahmad Fairuz had phoned him to deny that he was the one talking to Lingam”.

    I don’t think that the Denning’s common law policy of judges keeping silent and staying above public controversy applies in this particular instance to exonerate Fairuz from the need of a direct vigorous public denial.

    The reason: The policy that a judge should not respond to public criticisms only applies to public criticisms of the way a judge conducts himself or makes judicial decision in court as part of a day’s work in court. A judge cannot be seen to be arguing with the public how he sifts the evidence, determines the facts, applies the laws and arrives at his judgment or else there will be chaos. That is why Lord Denning spoke of criticisms that “we’re mistaken, and our decisions erroneous, whether they’re subject to appeal or not”.

    Now the controversy of the video clip has nothing to do with an onest day’s work in court! It has everything to do with what goes on behind the scenes after the day in court, in the privacy of private conversation from the home, on a subject, not about whts going to happen tomorrow, but what should happen about judicial appointments in months or years from then, and how a person close to the Executive could help broker these appointments! This is, with all due respect, a different ball game!

    And the so-called stakeholder on whom a judge relies to vindicate his conduct was not the independent Bar or the Bar Council but a senior member of the administration/executive!

    Surely the very considerations underpinning the ethical restrictions against the judge’s engagement in public controversy – ie. to uphold the integrity of judiciary and prevent executive interference – are themselves immediately subverted when a spokesman for the Executive came out to speak on behalf of a judge in defence under such circumstances!

    The allegations behind the video clip seriously undermine public confidence in the principle of judicial independence.

    If there are limited instances in which it would be most appropriate for a judge to break silence, to respond directly against such allegations in order to restore public confidence in the institution of judiciary, it will be this occasion that Fairuz should rise up to but until today has unfortunately failed to do so.

    To the extent that he has not dispelled the onus of public allegations, Kit is making entirely fair comment to say he has forfeited the right to seek an extension of office even for one day.

    It would be scandal compounding on scandal for the administration to grant such indulgence.

    Nor should it foolishly be ever attempted.

    The Rulers are unlikely to consent to such extension, assuming their views are constitutionally required to be canvassed for such an extension.

    Besides, many Malaysians will have none of it, suspecting that an extension under the cloud of a scandal only vindicates the truth of allegations relating to the video clip that it is “pay back” time!

  5. #5 by toniXe on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:00 pm

    why even that satay man in Klang behave like a King so whats the problem ! Law is nothing in Malaysia , just know who is pretty good enough !

  6. #6 by lakshy on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:05 pm

    This is the same clown who first said that “No judge has as many as 30 unwritten judgements”. Then he denied saying this. Where is his sense of honour.

    Only liars cannot keep track of what they say.

    A man of integrity would remain consistent., and would have resigned if his name was besmirched in such a manner as in the Lingam tape. But we dont have men of honour …..

  7. #7 by Godfather on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:13 pm

    Honour and integrity – two words that crooks, thieves, cheats and liars don’t understand. All they understand is the need to hang on for economic benefit.

    The Sleepy Head said that we must investigate. So they set up a panel of 3 clowns who thought they could investigate. Now they have investigated (in their own definition) and have come up with nothing. Case closed. Fairuz will be cleared. Give him a bonus.

  8. #8 by Libra2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:16 pm

    Why should the PM place the King in such a position. He should not recommend Ahmad for any extension. That reflects on the PM sense of integrity that he boasts about.

  9. #9 by justice_fighter on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:23 pm

    Ahmad Fairuz is simply another hypocrite of the highest order as the PM Abdullah Bodohwi.

  10. #10 by ngahc on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:26 pm

    We have the impression that the CJ is in fact reporting to the laws minister. Where got judicially independent since 1988? CJ should be an honourable and integrity person. We do not want someone who could not defend his reputation publicly to be CJ. Maybe he think that silence is gold!

  11. #11 by sotong on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:41 pm

    This position and other senior and important positions of power, trust and influence require individuals with unquestionable honesty, credibility, integrity, professionalism and competency……any doubt, get rid of them..all of them!

  12. #12 by Jimm on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 3:10 pm

    Our CJ tenure was clearly an arrange ‘SHORTCUTS’ by the ELITE group influence because he was related to Royal family. His desire to ride on the power of his Royal connection to gain fame have proven to be very costly now. As he haven’t make any public statement personally to clear this matter, yet claimed by NA that he have spoken to him as a form of clarification of non involvement is very confusing.
    Think about it, CJ don’t dare to fight for the post back then but uses ELITE group influence to get there and now he need someone from the ELITE group to help him out again from the mess that he want them to get for him back then. FUNNY …… shortcuts always cut short …
    Whatever it is now , the system are not holding on firmly as before.
    I would like to advise the old dogs to prepare their escape plan soon to avoid more complicated exposures. Those who have properities in Australia, UK, India , Indonesia, Brunei , Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and places of investment to check out the place and move over soon. Malaysia’s natural wealth are at the tail end of her prime time and Synergy have turn into a gaint plantation enterprise which you all are holding vesting interest through ‘relatives’ should be enough to keep everyone in the family happy. Moreover, K Nasional also are ‘milking’ handsomely your returns.
    Move over now when things are still in control stages, leave and stay away from the burning flames.

  13. #13 by Jimm on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 3:32 pm

    As for the KETUANAN, see what your leaders have lead you all to ..
    Such a big scandal that now causes such a big shame to the KETUANAN status.
    Please ….:::BANGSA MELAYU:::…. stand on your own feets and shout your heart out.
    Put your trust and life to those that can walk with you through the journey and not 4 to 5 years once type.
    Share your glory and faith of harmony with those true Malaysian.
    Don’t sell your rights for a couple of hundreds in RM only to satisfy your short term goals. Remember your foreparents struggles that lead to our independence.
    Now, it is our turn to seek independence from own our ‘dictator’.
    Our children future are solely at our own hands.

  14. #14 by AShiokNaut on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 7:40 pm

    hmmm.. nazri has the ‘gift of the gab’ most of the time – in and out of parliment. for him to flatly deny and instead puts the blame on the press etc (as I read the above) speaks alot about the slippery business of politics and politicians. who suffers?

  15. #15 by straight talk on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 9:04 pm

    Our sleeoing PM do not have a mind of his own. He is the real puppet. Notice how he is extending all the people put in place by TDM. Hoi PM resign lah…that is the best thing you can do for MalaysiaKu Gemilang…

  16. #16 by fighter on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 10:18 pm

    When news broke that a judge had been promoted to the Federal Court without writing 35 judgements, the Chief Justice strongly denied this. He said this was “fitnah” and challenged anyone to prove it.YB Karpal Singh then gave him the proof, then what happened? Any decent man would have apologised but not for CJ. He simply said he had written a letter to the PM about this matter

    Imagine a Chief Justice caught lying red-handed and still have a cheek to ask for a 6 mths extension and imagine a PM who were told about the lie but still want to give the CJ the extension What a country Malaysia is!!

  17. #17 by bystander on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 10:20 pm

    PM is a zombie and the country is goings to the dogs.

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 11:11 pm

    “….in the interest of the dignity of the administration of justice and prevention of undue influence in litigation, it is generally considered undesirable for a judge to respond to criticism of his own actions by appearing in the news media.” Jeffrey QC

    But Lord Denning (God rests his soul) never thought of Malaysia. In Malaysia, judges are allowed to holiday with members of the Bar – so long as it is out of public eye. Judges are allowed to collude with members of the Bar in deciding who should be judge and which judge should sit on which panel and hold what post – so long as they are not caught doing so on video tape. A member of the Bar can be elevated to the rank of a federal court judge without doing his time as a judge.

    In English common law countries like Malaysia, the archaic doctrine of contempt of court prevents judges from being publicly criticized for judgments they handed down. I agree with Jeffrey QC that the CJ is not being criticized for any of those. In fact the public is questioning his moral fitness to hold the highest judicial office in the country.

    A judge should be free from any kind of controversy affecting his fitness to hold office. A judge should exercise his option and retire prematurely and with grace to avoid controversy from affecting the dignity of the office he holds.

    But then this is Malaysia – the land of the free. Free to commit crimes and get away with them, free to have sex with under aged girls so long as you later marry them, free to receive ill-gotten gains so long as you donate some of them to orphans, free to receive kick-backs if the purpose is to fund the elections and ensure victory for the party running the government, free to blow up someone who has become inconvenient with military explosives when burying her in an undisclosed location would do just as well etc.

  19. #19 by AnakTiriMalaysia on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 11:57 pm

    In this country, if you challenge the UMNO, they will say:

    1) If you are a Chinese : ” If you are not happy, Balik China lah!”

    2)If you are an Indian : “If you are not happy, Balik India lah!!”

    3)If you are a Malay :
    “If you are not happy, Balik Indon lah!!”
    (At least Indonesia’s claim on the origin of ‘Rasa Sayang Eh’ song confirmed that the Malays come from Indonesia)

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