Archive for November 1st, 2007

Malaysia without a Chief Justice for one day?

Right from the very beginning of today’s parliamentary sitting, MPs were interested only in two questions — and answers to both are not to be found in Parliament, viz:

  • The outcome of Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim’s application for six-month extension as Chief Justice, as he turned 66 yesterday — in view of unprecedentedly strong objections not only from the Opposition, the Bar Council, the civil society but also by Malay Rulers; and
  • Whether Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Ramli Yusuff, the cop alleged to have RM27 million undeclared assets, will be charged for corruption.

    News have finally come in that Ramli has been charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with three counts of failing to disclose his assets in his sworn statement under the Anti-Corruption Act 1997.

    There are still no news however as to the outcome of Ahmad Fairuz’ application for extension as Chief Justice from the two-day Conference of Rulers, raising the question whether the nation is without a Chief Justice for today.

    Many must be asking – Why the secrecy and mystery surrounding the appointment of Chief Justice, which is completely against the principles of accountability and transparency. Read the rest of this entry »


Ops Lalang onslaught on human rights, press freedom, independent judiciary – no signs of better safeguards under Abdullah

The 1987 Operation Lalang mass Internal Security Act (ISA) dragnet of 106 detainees representing a wide spectrum of dissent, including MPs, civil rights leaders, Chinese educationists and social activists, was not only a black day for human rights in Malaysia, but set the scene for a triple onslaught on the fundamental basis of a democratic Malaysia — human rights, press freedom and an independent judiciary.

What stemmed from a 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 turned into the most relentless assault on democracy in Malaysia in the nation’s 50-year history — and the country is still paying the consequences of that assault.

And what is worse, there are no signs that the triple targets of the 1987 Ops Lalang onslaught, viz human rights, press freedom and an independent judiciary, are better safeguarded two decades later on the fourth anniversary of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s premiership.

I am very disappointed that the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail had decided to appeal against the High Court decision awarding Abdul Malek Hussin RM2.5 million in damages for having been unlawfully arrested, detained and beaten up while in police custody under the ISA in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »