Archive for March 6th, 2009

How to judge the judge?

by N. H. Chan

In The Sun newspaper, March 4, 2009, I read on page 1 this alarming report:

“Ipoh High Court grants injunction sought by Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and the six State Executive Councillors to stop speaker V. Sivakumar from convening any state assembly sitting.
Court also ruled that Sivakumar’s five lawyers have no legal standing to represent him in the case filed by Zambry to seek a declaration that Sivakumar’s decision to suspend him and his executive council was unconstitutional and unlawful.”

The arrogance of a novice judge

I must say I was taken aback by the astonishing ruling of the High Court judge. The full report is on page 6 of the newspaper. There I find that the judge was Mr Ridwan Ibrahim, a judicial commissioner. He ruled that the lawyers “engaged by Sivakumar had no locus standi to represent him in an application by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, who is seeking a declaration that Sivakumar’s decision to suspend him and his executive council was unconstitutional and unlawful”.

Sivakumar’s leading lawyer was Mr Tommy Thomas, and I quote from the newspaper of what he said: Read the rest of this entry »


People’s hope in the judiciary has been misplaced

by P Ramakrishnan

Confronted by crisis in Perak, the people had reason to believe that the judiciary would be our last hope for justice to prevail. That hope is apparently misplaced. What a disappointment that proved to be!

It is difficult to believe or accept the decision of the Judicial Commissioner, Ridwan Ibrahim. To say the least, Malaysians are shocked into disbelief by his verdict. Technicalities were used to prevent a fair trial and counter arguments to help the judge to arrive at a sound decision. In this instance we are reminded of Aeschylus who said, “Wrong must not win by technicalities.” But that was what happened in the Ipoh High Court on 3 March 2009. It is a matter of grave disappointment to all of us.

To begin with, his decision to hear the case in chambers – not withstanding his discretionary powers – came as a complete surprise to the nation. Knowing that the entire country is very concerned with what is happening in Perak, the appropriate thing would have been to hear the case in open court as requested by senior lawyer, Tommy Thomas, representing the Speaker of the Perak Assembly. This fair request was denied.

What is at issue in this instance concerns every Malaysian and they have a right to know what persuasive arguments have been presented to support this case that has been brought to the Ipoh High Court by Zambry and others. We have a right to know what prevailed upon the Judicial Commissioner for his decision. Now, we will never know what transpired in the chambers. Read the rest of this entry »


Razaleigh calls for fresh polls in Perak

Business Times, Singapore
06 Mar 2009

Razaleigh calls for fresh polls in Perak
He says this may be an elegant way out of the political impasse


BARISAN Nasional lawmaker and former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has added his voice to a growing chorus of Malaysians demanding fresh elections in Perak state to resolve its month-long political impasse.

‘I think that constitutional rule in Perak has collapsed and the only way to rectify the situation is to go back to the people,’ Tengku Razaleigh told BT in an exclusive interview yesterday. ‘That would be the appropriate thing for the ruler to do.’

The reference is to Sultan Azlan Shah, the state’s monarch who, on Feb 2, rejected a request by Perak’s then chief minister Nizar Jamaluddin – of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition alliance – to dissolve the state’s assembly and pave the way for fresh polls.
Mr Nizar made the request after his government was toppled when three of his representatives defected to become independents supportive of the Barisan Nasional (BN). Read the rest of this entry »