Archive for December 7th, 2007

Zaki’s quadruple jump as Court of Appeal President – will he undertake to recuse himself from all cases involving Umno?

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, cannot be more wrong when he cited Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah as a precedent for the fast-track elevation of Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi as the Court of Appeal President, half-a-heart beat away as Chief Justice of Malaysia in ten months’ time in October next year.

Zaki’s triple jump to become Federal Court judge in September without ever being High Court or Court of Appeal judge is completely without precedent in the nation’s judicial history for half-a-century — just like his quadruple jump in three months up the judicial hierarchy to become the Court of Appeal President or his quintuple jump in a matter of a year when he is appointed Chief Justice of Malaysia next October when Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad steps down from the topmost judicial post.

Nazri had been wrongly advised about the history of judicial appointments for Dzaiddin, who served as High Court Judge for more than 10 years and Federal Court judge for seven years before he was unexpectedly appointed the Chief Justice of Malaysia in December 2000 — as the choice of the Conference of Rulers which had rejected the original nominee presented by the then Prime Minister.

What are the grounds for the supersonic flight up the judicial hierarchy for Zaki – apart from his Umno associations – as he is no legal luminary in the Malaysian legal firmament.

At a time when the country is struggling to come out of the 19-year crisis of confidence in the independence, integrity and competence of the judiciary, Zaki’s most unorthodox triple, quadruple and quintuple leap up the judicial hierarchy raises most disturbing questions whether there is any real understanding let alone political will on the part of the top national leadership on the urgent need to restore the Malaysian judiciary to the world-class level it had enjoyed two decades ago.

Or is Malaysia on the occasion of its 50th Merdeka anniversary taking the first step to have an Umno Chief Justice instead of a Chief Justice for all Malaysians by October next year? Read the rest of this entry »


Call on AG to agree to bail for 31 Hindraf protestors – emergency debate in Parliament on Monday

I have this morning given notice to the Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah, to move an emergency motion on Monday on the allegation by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan, that Hindraf is linked to terrorists and is canvassing for support from terrorist groups.

It will be Malaysia’s misfortune and tragedy if the government’s sole concern is to indiscriminately demonise the Hindraf leaders over their allegations of “ethnic cleansing” and genocide of Indians in Malaysia which were not the reasons for the 30,000-strong Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on November 25 and use them as excuses to completely disregard the legitimate grievances of two million Malaysian Indians at their long-standing marginalization as Malaysian citizens.

I am shocked at the Attorney-General’s role in the escalation of such “denial-and reprisal” response — belatedly charging 31 Hindraf protestors for the capital offense of attempted murder of a cop and objecting to any grant of bail, resulting for all intent and purpose of their being immediately jailed in Sungai Buloh prison indefinitely for months on end until the end of the trial.

If this is not a travesty of justice, I do not know what is!

Tan Sri Gani Patail must know that as Attorney-General, he is the chief legal officer not only of the government but for all 27 million Malaysians and he must not act in any vengeful, vindictive or bullying manner — something which he seemed to have forgotten in the past two days in his appearance in court over the prosecution of the Hindraf protestors.

I urge him to reconsider his objections to the granting of bail to the 31 protestors and to agree to their release on bail pending trial and to take the personal initiative to submit such an application to the court — or he will be doing a great injustice and disservice not only to the public image of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, but to popular support for the Barisan Nasional government. Read the rest of this entry »


Police should also be charged with attempted murder

by Richard Teo

Malaysians in general and Indians in particular must be appalled at how the Attorney-General could charge 31 Hindraf protestors for the dubious crime of attempted murder.

Surely the charge can only be valid if the perpetrator of the crime can be identified. There is no justification to detain the 31 members if the crime was committed by a single individual. The prosecutor cannot expect the court to believe that the 31 perpetrators were responsible for throwing an object which specifically caused injury to the police officers.

How could the prosecutors cast a net so wide and hope per chance that it may catch the culprit from amongst the 31 protestors? Obviously not all of the 31 protestors were responsible for the single injury caused to the officer. Therefore will justice be served if the law punish the 31 Hindraf members just because one of them caused injury to the officer?

Can our justice be so vicious that 31 individual should pay the price for a crime committed by one individual? That in essence is what the Attorney-general is doing and in doing so he has made a mockery of our judicial system.

But in reality what was the crime committed by the 31 protestors?

By the same token, there were several protestors who suffered head injuries when the police fired tear gas canisters laterally at the crowd. Video clips taken on that day confirmed that quite a number of the protestors suffered injuries as a result. By the
same logic the police officers who fired the tear gas canisters can also be charged with attempted murder. Read the rest of this entry »


Restore world-class status for Malaysian universities – two first steps

Malaysia has fallen completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities this year in the 2007 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES)-Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

This is a national shame, especially as occurring during the nation’s 50th Merdeka anniversary and it must serve as the latest warning to the national leaders to end their complacency and delusion that Malaysia is becoming more competitive globally when the reverse is actually the case.

The national shame of Malaysia falling completely out of the list of the world’s Top 200 Universities this year in the 2007 Times Higher Education Supplement (THES)-Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings had been equaled by the scandal that this Malaysian ignominy had been totally ignored by the UMNO General Assembly, whether by UMNO delegates or leaders, as release of the rankings coincided with the Umno General Assembly.

This shows the superficiality of the commitment of UMNO leaders to the slogan of “Cemerlang, Gemilang and Terbilang” and to transform Malaysia into a knowledge-based innovative economy marked by a world-class university system.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had after the UMNO General Assembly expressed his concern about the fall of Malaysian universities from the international league of best universities, but why wasn’t there a single reference to this shocking result in the UMNO General Assembly, touted as the most important national political assembly of the country?

Malaysian universities suffered a very serious drop in the international league of the world’s best universities in the 2007b THES-QS rankings,

For the first time, there is not only not a single university in the Top 200 Universities list, there is also not a single university in the separate ranking of Top 100 Universities for five subject areas — Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities; Life Sciences and Biomedicine; and Engineering and Information Technology. Read the rest of this entry »