Landmark RM2.5 million damages ISA decision – AG should make policy decision not to appeal

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail should take the policy decision not to appeal against the landmark decision yesterday by High Court judge Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus in awarding Abdul Malek Hussin RM2.5 million in damages for having been unlawfully arrested, detained and beaten up while in police custody in 1998.

In ruling that Abdul Malek had succeeded in suing former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor, a police officer and the Government, Hishamudin said “The behaviour of the defendants is inhumane, cruel and despicable, as the plaintiff was not just arrested and detained unlawfully for 57 days but was also subjected to a vile assault, unspeakable humiliation, prolonged physical and mental ill-treatment”.

A policy decision by the Attorney-General not to appeal against the Hishamuddin judgment will set a shining example and send a clear message that the era of human rights has arrived in Malaysia and the police and all public servants must respect human rights.

A decision by Gani Patail to appeal against the Hishamudin decision can only mean that the Attorney-General himself and the government he represents is yet to “walk the talk” of respect for human rights and is still condoning human right violations by the police and public servants — making nonsense not only of the establishment of Suhakam but also of Malaysia’s calls for respect for human rights in international forums, including the recent statements of outrage by Malaysian leaders at the human rights violations and atrocities by the Myanmar military junta in the brutal suppression of the “saffron revolution” in Burma.

The Hishammuddin judgment had been long in coming, as human rights abuses in the form of physical violence and other forms of torture had been common treatment meted out to ISA as well as non-ISA detainees — which must be condemned in no uncertain terms and stopped forthwith.

The Internal Security Act in allowing indefinite detention without trial is itself a gross violation of human rights and should be repealed without delay — as there are adequate laws to deal with national security and law and order in the country.

  1. #1 by HJ Angus on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 1:45 pm

    This is the type of judge we need; especially in dealing with the cases where questionable religion changes occurred.

    Maybe there will be no appeal and this case will be used as an example of an enlightened government? After all, elections not too far off.

  2. #2 by Libra2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:08 pm

    This is the type of judge who can redeem the judiciary. Well, done, my lord.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:25 pm

    Appeal ? The politicians create their own “concessions” like labelling of medicine, labelling of liquor, labelling of cigarettes which are worth hundreds of millions to each concessionaire. They award themselves APs and use the proceeds to buy massive houses and helicopters. They illegally alienate state land, and build their palace on such land, and show off to the public that their building has 21 bathrooms.

    Appeal against an award of RM2.5 million ? That’s chicken feed to those who already have their hands in the country’s till.

  4. #4 by ali allah ditta on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:41 pm

    Aaiya….Kit Siang,U think they wont appeal kah? Why did they appoint that UMNO penasihat undang2,what’s his name…Zaki…. to be an Appeal court judge? Just to make sure all cases that make the gomen rugi,mampus at the appeal court only.


  5. #5 by Jimm on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 2:52 pm

    They will appeal or kick this MHMY out of their judiciary system or they will threaten this MHMY to retreat his judgement statement on technical grounds.
    Come on lah … we are talking about the ELITE group here.
    When AG mentioned that he will not act doesn’t meanthe BN government won’t act. The statement is only from AG’s point of view as per current status.
    Anyway, all judges will be brief soon after this incident and they have to abide to the ruling or face being sacked …

  6. #6 by raven77 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 3:08 pm

    Let them appeal…..the mud must be splaterred far and wide around the globe…..these guys should be shamed to eternity no matter how thick skinned they are … that every airport they step into …..they are treated for the morons they are…..

  7. #7 by Jeffrey on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 3:38 pm

    I am not surprised if the AG does not appeal based not on policy but ostensibly on facts of the particular case.

    The rumour is that the general election will be held soon …predicted maybe between Nov 15 to Nov 25th (coinciding with school holidays?).

    If true, at least for the imminent election, allegations of executive interference of judiciary from the fall out of the Lingam Video clip may be rebutted by this Hishammuddin judgment – the argument is : “see if judiciary were not really independent as alleged in Lingam tape, how come an ex ISA detainee can recover RM2.5 million from the government in our courts ?

    If the general election is to be called soon at end of this year, people’s attention on video clip and fears of executive interference in judiciary must be allayed, and RM2.5 million is small price to pay to diffuse public clamor for Royal Commission on eve of general election that if otherwise entertained, might just bring out all the worms from the woodwork, and more damage.

    (If Royal Commission were established and authenticate the video clip, thereby vindicating phenomenon of judicial fixing, parties that have lost multi million awards will ask for review of cases, money paid will be asked to be refunded, all kinds of other issues decided and settled in cases involving “friendly” judges and lawyers will be requested by parties who lost to be re-opened! That will cost more than RM2.5 million!).

    If, however, a snap general election were not called soon, then it will have to be called much later next year in which economic uncertainties relating to important bread and butter issues, will have to be faced. There may for examples, be a further rise of costs of living due to higher oil prices, further govt’s withdrawal of petrol subsidies or Petronas’s withdrawal of subsidies to Tenaga (which, in turn, will pass higher energy costs to consumers) implicating another round of cost push inflation, not to mention more scandals lurking to burst out, and Anwar’s eligibility to contest in April (I think). Sad to say it is on such bread and butter issues of fuel hike and unbearable rising of costs of living that the monks and protesters took to the streets in Yangon rather than just abstract democracy and the fate of Aung San Suu Kyi, something our political elites know too well.

  8. #8 by Jimm on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 3:53 pm

    Looking at all the latest development in the country, I too agreed to the point that BN have to bring forward the coming to GE in this coming November to avoid further damages from BA.
    As Malaysian always famous for short memory, BN can take advantage on the timing to make a clean cut direct win over BA by obtaining more than 85% seats in the parliament and state.
    Actually, they have deployed their messages clearly to the grassroots and funding have be well distributed through all channel nationwide.
    Most of the major roads are being relayed with new surfaces as the common sign of GE is coming in Malaysian context.
    My town areas all have been very beautifully taken care by the municipal people and contracts are moving fast to those grassroots to ensure funds have been channelled to them in that form to covered up the ‘payout’ to secure full result in the coming GE.
    Well, guys …. go out and vote for your rights in November.

  9. #9 by kanthanboy on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 4:16 pm

    The RM2.5 million compensation awarded to Abdul Malek Hussin is only a small step in the right direction. The Attorney-General should lay charges against those police officers who have committed inhumane, cruel and despicable crime against an innocent citizen. If these coward police officers are not punished, then justice has not been served. After all, they can get away with their crime without any consequences. The RM2.5 millions come from tax payers.

  10. #10 by Loyal Malaysian on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 5:18 pm

    No , way, we are talking of a tainted AG as well. The judgement will be appealed and it will land in the court of one these tainted judges who will be too happy to reverse the judgement. The brave judge who strike a blow for freedom and justice will be transferred out of KL soon.

  11. #11 by AnakTiriMalaysia on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 5:26 pm

    THE RM2.5 million should be paid by UMNO… and not from the tax-payer money, since the police was taking instruction from UMNO Leaders to ‘TAKE ACTION’ AGAINST ITS POLITICAL ENEMY….

  12. #12 by ktteokt on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 7:01 pm

    This may be a landmark in the history of Malaysia under the Internal Security Act, an outdate, primitive, inhuman, unjustified and illogical law.

  13. #13 by AShiokNaut on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 7:11 pm

    hmmm.. wonder how much ex-dpm AI will get if he decided to jump back in for his black eye incident….

  14. #14 by undergrad2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 7:14 pm

    “The Internal Security Act in allowing indefinite detention without trial is itself a gross violation of human rights and should be repealed …” KIT

    Malaysia cannot do that! If for no other reason, the United States the beacon of democracy and capital of the Free Wolrd has taken a leaf from the Malaysian experience and has enacted its own legislation “The U.S. Patriots Act”.

  15. #15 by undergrad2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 7:21 pm

    “The Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail should take the policy decision not to appeal ….” KIT

    Unlikely. We might as well demand the AG to tender his resignation. Furthermore, we all know he has no control over the issue. If he were to step down now, tens are in the wings ready and willing to step in his shoes.

    There will be an appeal. Why do you think they put Zaki Tun Azmi on the federal court panel??

  16. #16 by undergrad2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 7:26 pm

    “A decision by Gani Patail to appeal against the Hishamudin decision can only mean that the Attorney-General himself and the government he represents is yet to “walk the talk”,,,” KIT

    These goons are not in the business of “walking the talk”, but of “talking the walk.”

    Didn’t the PM say “Work with me”. He didn’t say “Walk with me” because he has no intention to walk anywhere but to his bridal chambers.

  17. #17 by zack on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 8:35 pm

    why can’t the govt. appeal? How could a lawyer ever tell his client not to appeal? Isn’t amking appeal part of the system? Please enlighten !

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 10:35 pm

    Asking is the right of everyone and belongs to no one. To ask does not mean it will be given.

  19. #19 by pwcheng on Saturday, 20 October 2007 - 2:21 am

    Knowing the government well, there is every possibility that this is a “sandiwara” a make to order damage control in order to show the world that the judiciary is independent. They have to do something fast for a cover up of the Lingam fiasco because the election is near.
    Whatever it is the Lingam tape with compliments from Anwar is a big torn in UMNO’s arse and even if it is not a “sandiwara” it has given some bullets to some judges who at this point of time seems to be on their own to make the right decision. At least we know that somebody is lying low now and temporary refrain from dictating what verdict the judge mus give.
    Hence we can see that this is a great challenge for the Rakyat. As such at any circumstances we must stand together to rid this judiciary malpractices that can bring chaos to the country. In fact all those involved in the “fixing” must be charged under ISA.

  20. #20 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 21 October 2007 - 11:04 am

    As I said in my earlier posting (October 19th, 2007 at 15: 38.10) the Hishamudin judgment awarding RM2.5 million in damages to ex ISA detainee would be used to rebut and dispel allegations of executive interference in the judiciary raised by the Lingam video clip. In todays Sunday Star on page N4 under the title ‘Decision shows independent judiciary’ our Deputy Internal security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Keow was reported to have said that “The decision of the court pertaining to the case has two im portant bearings. One, it goes to show that our judiciary is independent. Secondly, it serves as a reminder to the enforcement agencies not to abuse their authority in carrying out their duties”.

    This raises the question that if the enforcement agencies have abused their authority as in this case why are no investigations being instituted to find out who abused their authority for punishment. Why are tax payers like us made to pay RM2.5 million for abuse of authority by personnel in enforcement agencies under tax payers payroll?

  21. #21 by tunglang on Monday, 22 October 2007 - 10:45 pm

    Who do you think you are AG? Nobody’s above the law, not even AG! Appeal for what, tak shiokkah? It goes to show our judiciary bastards are no better than the Myanmar junta, bend on twisting laws for their own diabolical deeds at the expense of Ah Kong’s money (RM2.5 million). Wait till Judgement Day, AG we’ll see you in Hell!

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