Charge N H Chan for contempt or resign, CJ?

By Martin Jalleh

The integrity of the judiciary has been badly mauled by a legal lion who does not mince his words no matter how high or mighty a judge thinks he is. He has called a spade a spade and certain members of the judiciary an “incompetent” and even an “idiotic” bunch!

All the Chief Justice (CJ) and the judges in the Palace of Justice have managed to do is remain mum, mute and mumble amongst themselves as N H Chan methodically makes them out for who they really are and the mockery they have made of the law!

The respected, renowned and retired Justice N H Chan is very frustrated, fed-up and furious at how the judiciary which he had served so faithfully has been reduced to a farce run by those who are legal and intellectual frauds or what he has called “imposters”!

With each passing compromised judgment N H Chan unhesitatingly hits out at judges with an increasingly sharper sting. He leaves no stone unturned, no errant judge uncovered. They can “no longer mask their hyperbole judgments with unintelligible garbage”.

“Fools on the bench”

In his latest scathing critique, he said the rakyat is “stunned by the ignorance of our judges of the highest court in the land”, as seen in the recent Federal Court’s decision not to review Anwar Ibrahim’s application to review its previous decision dismissing his application for disclosure of documents for his second sodomy trial.

N H Chan said the Federal Court’s approach to Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 was “inconsistent” and “dishonest” and “those ignoramuses” were talking “utter nonsense”. Those “inane judges cannot even understand plain English”! He put it very plainly and painfully!

Calling the three-member panel of Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Heliliah Mohd Yusof “incompetent”, he added “perhaps they were clowns as their statements were laughable”.

His searing criticism was that they “…do not know justice from injustice”, and that “such lowly individuals should never be allowed to sit on the seat of Justice…(and) to be judges at all. And yet there are so many of them in the judiciary today ever since the rot begun.”

He shredded into smithereens the “judicial renaissance” of the CJ: “Our country does not need impostors, who pose as judges, to deceive the common people any longer. The common citizenry can now uncover the impostors hiding beneath the mantle of the judicature.”

He laid bare the judicial sham: “With judges such as these in the Malaysian judiciary where, to them, the principles of the law are not to be consonant with justice to be manipulated by them to uphold injustice, it is no wonder that the errant judges have forfeited the confidence of the people. ”

He left them with a stinging slap in the face: “The general public does not respect such judges anymore! They have put themselves beyond the pale. Just like pariahs. Don’t you think they should be despised?”

On High Court judge Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah’s rejection of Anwar’s application to have the judge recuse himself from further hearing the sodomy trial, N H Chan said that the judge was talking “utter nonsense” and “knew next to nothing about judicial bias”.

He added that the “moral of this unsavoury episode” is this: if you appoint mediocre lawyers to the Bench you will get substandard judges. The solution to this problem is a simple one. Appoint judges from the cream of the legal profession and you will not find me assailing the judges for incompetence simply because I will not be able to do so.”

Such was his cutting conclusion: “It is only when we have fools on the bench that I can point out that what they have decided is not the law.”

“Bunch of idiots in high places”

N H Chan had not spared the judges in the cases related to the Perak constitutional crisis of his very strong language when scrutinising their decisions (with the exception of Kuala Lumpur High Court Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim whom he had praised).

He highlighted the “bad” and “perverse” judgments, especially those in the appellate courts, the collective written judgements which were “riddled with contradictions” and how the Perak and Federal Constitutions were toyed with and trampled on by the judges!

During the Perak debacle N H Chan had said that there are “many of our judges today especially among those judges in the higher echelon of the judicial hierarchy who do not seem to know the true meaning of separation of powers in constitutional law. This is most apparent.”

He called some of the judges of the cases of the Perak imbroglio:

  1. Bad judges – they “seem to think that independence means that they can do what they like”
  2. Recalcitrant judges – “they think that words can mean whatever they want them to mean”
  3. Humpty Dumpty judges – “they also think that they are independent of the legislature”.
  4. N H Chan has brought to light how beholden the judiciary is to the Umno-dominated Government. He said the “so-called Perak crisis has brought out a host of cases that showed that the judges gave the impression that they were one-sided. The perception of the people is that they sided with the BN government.”

    In the “shocking case” of Zambry v Sivakumar in the Federal Court, he called the judgment by the “infamous five” (judges) Alauddin Mohd Sheriff , Arifin Zakaria, Nik Hashim Ab Rahman, Augustine Paul and Ahmad Makinnuddin, a “perverse decision”.

    In the case of Nizar vs Zambry he called the panel of five Federal Court judges made up of the President of the Court of Appeal Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, Chief Judge of Malaya Arifin Zakaria, Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Abdul Hamid Embong, “myopic judges”.

    They “were lost in a quagmire of confused thinking caused by their own incompetence. They found themselves deep in the forest unable to see the wood for the trees. Does this mean that we have a bunch of incompetent judges who sit in the highest court in the land?”

    Alas, with the help of N H Chan the public especially those in Perak were able to see for themselves how members of the judiciary had left behind a dead constitution, “bad” and “perverse” decisions, dubious declaratory orders, judgments devoid of reasoned grounds, and disgraceful double standards.

    Blind and Biased Judges

    N H Chan has “judged the judges”. He considers them, especially those in the appellate courts’ “ignorant”, “inane”, “incompetent” and even “idiots” (which he has strongly inferred).

    The public shares his view. In their eyes the judiciary has allowed itself to be intimidated, its independence and impartiality interfered with, and its integrity reduced to ignominy.

    In the light of the severe criticism of N H Chan of the judiciary (which is quite unprecedented by a retired judge), surely the Chief Justice cannot stand idly, silently and stoically by – unless Zaki Azmi strenuously, staunchly and solemnly agrees with him!

    Further if Zaki continues to remain silent the public will assume that he shares N H Chan’s searing criticism of the judiciary. Logically he would have to resign for he has allowed the reputation of the judiciary to be sullied irreparably.

    The judicial shenanigans whom N H Chan has criticized and castigated should also resign for having shamelessly sacrificed justice on the altar of political expediency.

    N H Chan’s comments on members of the judiciary have no doubt been bold, blunt and blistering. He has accused judges of being blind, biased and being a bunch of “idiots” and “fools”. He has thrown the gauntlet down.

    If the CJ disagrees with N H Chan’s criticisms he should haul the former Court of Appeal judge into court and demand that the latter shows cause for why he should not be cited for contempt! Does Zaki have the guts to take up the gauntlet or will he prefer to allow the judicial circus to go on?

    N H Chan has made no bones about it. His blitzkrieg on the judiciary will continue. “Bad guys” had better beware! He will ensure that their names remain in infamy for generations to come unless they recant the wrongs that they have done! He will even write their obituary and if they outlive him there will be others who will take his place!

    N H Chan sees the next general elections as the only solution to an unsalvageable judiciary viewed by the public with greater suspicion, skepticism and even scorn. He once commented: “At the present time and judging by what we have experienced so far from the Perak takeover cases, the quality of most of our judges is suspect”.

    “In the meantime what should we do with so many bad apples in the barrel? If only there could be a change in government in the next general elections with the opposition winning by a landslide. Then we could get rid of all the bad apples by Act of Parliament.”

  1. #1 by Godfather on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 5:57 pm

    N H Chan is a true patriot. He calls a spade a spade and the Judiciary is running scared. If they haul him up, he can easily defend himself and match these incompetent judges word for word. If only Salleh Abas could come to the fore and match N H Chan’s courageous pronouncements.

    There will be a day of reckoning for our Judiciary, and it will happen in 2013 or earlier.

  2. #2 by jus legitimum on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 7:04 pm

    A lot of Malaysians are now worried whether they will get a fair trial in our courts of law if the need arises.Oh my God,if the judiciary is manned by incompetent,half past six and biased judges,then Malaysians are real hopeless and doomed.

    Maybe respected members of the Bar Council like YB Karpal Singh can throw further light on this matter.Anyway the public should rally support for NH Chan for revealing the ugliness of our terribly tainted judiciary.

  3. #3 by pwcheng on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 7:04 pm

    The judiciary has been rotting since the dawn of TDM. There is not a single iota of doubt about it. NH Chan has boldly confirmed it. When sleepy Abdullah wanted to reform the judiciary ( he was on the verge of being kicked out then), I have this unsavory comment in my blog on May 9,2008 (”Will Judiciary and ACA be Reformed or remain Deformed”.

    Under UMNO, nothing will be reformed and if people wants to keep voting them in, then we deserve to be a deform society.

  4. #4 by grace on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 7:18 pm

    Does Zaki have the guts to take up the gauntlets?
    1000% NOOOOO!
    Because he knows that HN Chan is right all the way. If he fights Chan, more ‘tahi’ will flow out from the dirty bellies of the already rotting judiciary.
    Every friend that I spoke to has no confidence in the judiciary now.
    NH Chan, we simply salute you !
    GOD will be with you always!!!

  5. #5 by chengho on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 7:32 pm

    Why are listening to an idiot like hn chan , did he still enjoying government pension?

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 7:53 pm

    Martin Jalleh, N H Chan isn’t the only legal lion who has said that the bench is utterly corrupt and / or incompetent. Many other lawyers have said the same, save they have said it in private and not within hearing distance of these ignoramuses lest they should be blasted in open court or in chambers when they have the misfortune to appear in those courts.

    You see this is why N H Chan has said so specifically that he would not return to practise law in the courts becos then he would feel smothered if he had to appear before those selfsame judges whom he so publicly lambast these days.

    Many who have sat in the courts have been dumbfounded, depressed and disgusted by the level of incompetence, inconsistency and inability of judges today to sieve through simple, mind you, simple facts and arguments. The problem is, to put it succinctly, these judges do not have tough minds, have not gone through the rigours of training and of the mental discipline of thinking to be able to enjoy the fruits of competence and the confidence of the bar, litigants and the public.

    Whither goes justice today if not in dungheaps and doghouses!

  7. #7 by Loh on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 8:04 pm

    ///If the CJ disagrees with N H Chan’s criticisms he should haul the former Court of Appeal judge into court and demand that the latter shows cause for why he should not be cited for contempt! Does Zaki have the guts to take up the gauntlet or will he prefer to allow the judicial circus to go on?///

    Please don’t dare the powers-that-be. When they are willing to make so many judgments that are questionable, they have nothing left to lose finding NH Chan guilty of any charge they prefer on him. Let us learn how stupid our judges are, but please allow NH Chan to continue writing.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 8:38 pm

    If you complain some more about lack of principled judges, they may just appoint lawyer Zulkifli Noordin to be judge, especially now when he has just been sacked from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, and justify that if he were good/principled enough to be earlier appointed counsel/lawyer for the Opposition head (Anwar Ibrahim) in his qazaf application at the Syariah High Court, he would be good /principled enough to be appointed judge. (After all although syariah lawyer he had also training in civil common laws). Then how?

  9. #9 by singa pura pura on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 9:16 pm

    Dato’ Justice NH Chan has shown unexceptionable courage in crying that there is something rotten in the precinct of justice. Indeed, justice, independence and freedom have to be fought for, and once gained, defended at all cost.

    One is reminded of the following words of Igor Judge LJ in a speech entitled “Heroes and Villains” (reproduced at [2004] 1 CLJ xvii):

    “The strange thing about birthrights such as these is that they did not come down to us from the Garden of Eden. Birthrights have to be fought for. I was reminded of this obvious, but sometimes overlooked point, by Trevor Bailey. He said: I suppose these events may have made me somewhat intolerant when people start talking about human rights as if these were ordained by God, rather than fought for and died for by man.

    Once achieved, the struggle to maintain the principles is constant. A great judge, Lord Reid, gave a salutary warning: We have too often seen freedom disappear in other countries, not only by coups d’état but by gradual erosion; and often it is the first step that counts … It would be unwise to make even minor concessions.

    If I rewrite John Wilkes and Lord Bingham for today’s conference, I should argue that an independent press, and an independent judiciary, both represent birthrights of our community.

    You do not have to look into your books, nor do you require perfect vision, to recognise the twin hallmarks of a tyranny: a subservient press and a subservient judiciary. It is very rare in history to find examples of a society which enjoyed an independent, free press, but was marred by a subservient judiciary, or where an independent judiciary flourished alongside a subservient press.”

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 9:57 pm

    singa pura pura, thank u for the very apt quotation: a subservient press, a subservient judiciary.

    Do we see both in Malaysia? I rest my case.

  11. #11 by Winston on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 10:00 pm

    Why are listening to an idiot like hn chan , did he still enjoying government pension? – Chengho

    Don’t forget that the money for the pension comes from the public.
    And if anyone deserves to have a pension, he IS the one! Not the useless people who mess up the country!
    In fact, his pension should be increased to show the people’s appreciation for what he has done!
    Perhaps when the PR takes over Putrajaya, this can be put into action!!

  12. #12 by tanjong8 on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 10:04 pm

    The Ming dynasty’s Chengho was a eunuch.

    But many Malaysians are definitely not and will continue to struggle to see justice is meted to all.

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 10:15 pm

    Now you know why the “Palace of Jestice” is placed in Putrajaya.

    Its another government department.

    And why is the Minister in charge of Jestice so silent?

  14. #14 by cseng on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 10:44 pm

    Before Mar-08 -2008, Umno politician always arrogantly said this “if you are so piss off! why don’t you contest in the next election” . But nowadays they don’t say this anymore; they say this “if you are so piss off! Why don’t you bring it to our court”.

  15. #15 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 10:47 pm

    ChengHo, it is clear that you have NOTHING to offer! Just like your master, bent on character assassination without any substance. And that sums up your type. You can go on with such rhetoric but do put your hear on the ground and hear what the below 40 Bumis are saying opening! I just met a Gomen servant and I was indeed surprised of what he had to say on Anwar’s Sodomy II!

  16. #16 by Jong on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 11:38 pm

    LOL!!!! good one Jeffrey!

  17. #17 by DCLXVI on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 - 11:43 pm

    chengho: “Why are listening to an idiot like hn chan , did he still enjoying government pension?”

    I’m sure a retired judge like NH Chan will not listen to idiots who imply threats of removing his pension.
    NH Chan is simply telling us all that the present judiciary should not be seen taking sides with certain politicians and political parties or groups, and a proper judiciary should only take the side of justice, reason and the true meaning of the law.

  18. #18 by Jong on Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 12:00 am

    …that’s usual BTN’s fear tactic to silence pensioners – jaga, don’t step out of line, remember UMNO/BN govt still pay your pension.

  19. #19 by monsterball on Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 2:07 am

    NH Chan should have respect from all Malaysians..speaking out this way…bravely.
    It makes Malaysians feeling proud to note…a Senior Judge knows the some judges are playing politics …to supporting UMNO with their ridiculous one sided judgments..non stop….treated Malaysian like fools.
    One very high ranking Police Officer just told me yesterday…there is nothing to be proud …being known as a retired high ranking Police Inspector at all…as from his mouth…he aid…the Police Force..does not command any respect from the public at all…right now.
    Strange as it may seem…all bad reputations are cause b one race…the UMNO it a Police Officer or Judges..

  20. #20 by monsterball on Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 2:12 am

    Chengho never cease to perform his balls carrying act to UMNO..with his usual..idiotic comment.
    Everyone of his comment have been shot down…yet he continues.. his same style.
    This Muslim …dressed in cheongsam…have a very itchy backside…..hahhahahahahaha

  21. #21 by Black Arrow on Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 7:45 am

    The Judiciary, just like the AG’s Chambers, Police, MACC, Election Commission, Mainstream Media, Government Departments and Perkasa are BN subsidiaries.

    We need Pakatan Plumbing Services to flush out all these filth and rubbish.

  22. #22 by wanderer on Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 3:17 pm

    chengho, if NH Chan is a idiot, what is your qualification?


  23. #23 by wanderer on Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 3:19 pm


    Never heard of a Chinaman with a peeled d#ck! hehehe

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