Archive for October 26th, 2007

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 »