Thursday, September 20, 2007

REACTIONS: Video Clip Sensational Conversation - Cuurent Chief Justice “Fixing’ Judicial appointment with “fix-it” Corporate Lawyer V K Lingam

REACTIONS: Video Clip Sensational Conversation - Cuurent Chief Justice “Fixing’ Judicial appointment with “fix-it” Corporate Lawyer V K Lingam

September 20, 2007 16:54 PM

PKR Hands Over Evidence For Alleged Malpractice In Appointing Judges

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (Bernama) -- Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Thursday handed over evidence, including a video clip, to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) for alleged irregularities in the appointment of court judges. PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah in a statement today said he had handed over an eight-minute copy of a video clip, a one-minute audio recording and a copy of a press statement dated September 19 issued by party advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the matter yesterday.

Sivarasa issued his statement to reporters after handing over the materials to Federal Territory ACA director Abu Zubir Mohd Hassan at the latter's office here. He said PKR recently received a video clip with audio recording using a mobile phone of a conversation purportedly between a prominent senior lawyer and a very senior judge in 2002. The conversation implicates the lawyer brokering the appointment of judges, including how he had supposedly helped get the judge appointed to the top judiciary post through a prominent businessman and a politician. Sivarasa said the recorded conversation indicated corruption in the appointment of judges and had serious implications on the hearing of court cases.

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Jelas info has reported Anwar's Office is under observation since last night. Currently the Kembara BFL 4020 (BELOW) is parked there (probably with SB people) doing electronic surveillance - eavesdropping on all outgoing/incoming calls and they might classify the Video as OSA material

NST has at last came out with a late Update – slightly better than the STAR and bolder headlines on "'judgments being fixed' no mention of names or transcript (after obtaining clearance perhaps) 2007/09/20

Anwar releases clip of 'judgments being fixed'

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yesterday alleged that a senior lawyer, discussed with a top member of the judiciary, how to "fix the judgments" of several cases.He released an eight-minute video clip of the lawyer speaking to the senior judge on the phone, which purportedly took place in 2002. Anwar alleged that the lawyer, who was embroiled in several controversies before, had liaison with several Chief Justices of the Federal Court since 1994. "This, I believe, had reason to influence the outcome in a number of judicial proceedings," Anwar said.Among the matters discussed in the video were the appointment of a top position in the judiciary and which judges should be appointed to hear certain cases.

The two also discussed cases involving Anwar, a former DAP stalwart, a tycoon, a minister and several senior judicial officials. Anwar declined to divulge the source of the video, saying he wanted to protect the whistle-blower. He said he would lodge reports with the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Bar Council and submit a memorandum to the Council of Rulers, urging them to set up a tribunal to investigate the allegations. The Bar Council has called for an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the matter. In a statement, chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan said the council was appalled at the allegations and described the video clip as "shocking". Noting that rumours and allegations of such machinations had been rife since the judicial crisis in 1988, she said immediate and urgent action must be taken, including a Royal Commission of Inquiry be set up.= == = == = = ==

See Bottom Full Transcript of Video Clip

= = == = Sensational & Explosive Malaysiakini breaking news

CJ's 'judgment fixing' caught on tape

Details H E RE by Subscription and BELOW

Anwar’s name brought up by Lingam

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How much did Anwar Ibrahim paid for the Video Clip with all the incriminating evidences in particular concerning his trial and its implications that many outcomes of cases were “fixed” and thus perverted the cause of justice? Or as said it was given free to settle a score? Anwar mentioned in the Videoclip that we get to view this video clip FOC. An elegant silent reaction from theSun newspaper – a six line report in its website because one of the boss is Vincent Tan (mentioned in the Video).

VK Lingam graduated mid-80s and his rise to power and wealth amassed is unmatched by any other lawyers. His reputation to be able to “win” almost all cases gave him a big following of wealthy clients. It was rumored he wielded considerable influence because he has been acting in concert with certain judges and that he even helped to write judgments for certain judges. The photo of him holidaying in NZ with the then Chief Judge did not nail him but now this video clip might be the one that can disbarred him if “immediate and urgent action ” is initiated by the Bar Council of Malaysia.

What would be the reaction of that old man involved in this scandal in IJN? Would he just collapsed and avoid this shameful revealation?

= = == = = == = = =thesSun brief mention

Conversation on judges’ appointments videotaped; B. Suresh Ram
PETALING JAYA (Sept 19, 2007): A video recording showing a lawyer discussing judicial appointments over the telephone, purportedly with a senior judge, was produced by Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today. Anwar, who did not say how he got hold of the video, said he would hand the recording to the authorities to investigate.He claimed the video was recorded in 2002 and was evidence that judicial appointments can be fixed.

= = =the STAR report has a bit more details;

In a fix over naming of judges; By SHAHANAAZ HABIB; STAR

PETALING JAYA: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has released a video recording it obtained recently implicating a prominent lawyer purportedly brokering the appointment of judges. The video clip shows the lawyer on the phone, seen and heard talking to someone who appears to be a very senior judge. The shaky video with clear audio seems to have been recorded with a mobile phone without the knowledge of the lawyer. Speaking at a press conference, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the video was taken in 2002 when the judge concerned was already in a high post. He said the video had come into PKR’s possession only “very recently”, when a source who wanted to remain anonymous came forward and gave it to the party.

“I have met him (the source). But he wants to remain anonymous to protect his position and for security reasons,” he added. Anwar said the source had disclosed that the video was taken at the lawyer’s home. The video shows the lawyer talking about how he had supposedly helped get the judge appointed to the top judiciary posts through a prominent businessman and a politician, both of whom were close to the then Prime Minister. The lawyer also speaks about how he was working through the same two contacts to get the judge elevated to higher positions.

The lawyer also named a number of prominent judges in the video. The video is 14 minutes and 16 seconds long but PKR edited it to 8 minutes and 26 seconds to protect the identity of the source. Anwar said PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa, who is also a lawyer, would lodge a report on the matter with the Anti-Corruption Agency and Bar Council as soon as possible, with the videotape as evidence. He also said PKR president Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would seek an audience with the Conference of Rulers on the matter. Members of the media were also given copies of the edited videotape and the transcript. When contacted, Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said he and his officers had viewed the video clip, reports SHAILA KOSHY. “We are studying it at the moment. I will reserve my comments until then on what we will do.” Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan said they were appalled and disturbed by the clip, which “shows a lawyer apparently ‘fixing’ judicial appointments with a senior judge”. She said there would be an emergency council meeting tomorrow. She also called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the matter.

= = == = == =and from NST & Bernama - Nil report; probably they were not invited for the Truth Revealation by Anwar and NST is still at the story Dead Girl in the Gym Bag; read my post on this H E R E; you see more pics than what the print media can afford in terms of column space

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Bar Council 'appalled', calls emergency meeting

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Statement from Bar Council President

"The Bar Council is appalled by the disturbing Malaysiakini report today and the shocking video clip that accompanies it that shows a lawyer apparently “fixing” judicial appointments with a senior judge. Rumours and allegations of such machinations have been rife since the Judicial Crisis in 1988. With the emergence of this video clip, the concerns expressed by various quarters in relation to the judiciary can no longer be swept aside. Immediate and urgent action must be taken. A Royal Commission of Inquiry into this matter and the affairs of the Judiciary must be appointed. Nothing less will do."

= = == excerpts of some of the vocal comments left at the Bar Council website

“What an explosive expose! My long-time friend, the late M.G.G. Pillai, now stands vindicated against the likes of such schemers. It is a great pity that his untimely demise robbed him of knowing what really happened. I am sure where he is now, he will amply rewarded. The implications of such "fixing" by these schemers are very bad, very adverse and very disastrous for our country. The judiciary after the 1988 sacking of Tun Salleh Abas was ostensibly on the mend for a while until these guys returned to the stage.

Fellow learned friends, if you have tears, shed them for the country now ... And then let us do something for the country and all its people, irrespective of who they are! We celebrate human lives. Let the Malaysian Bar hold an EGM and pass a resolution for the immediate arrest of these conspirators against the interests of this country.

That the last time a judgment was made against V.K. Lingam in his suit against a newspaper in Europe, The Sun did not breathe a word. Was that to protect not only V.K. Lingam but even his friend, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed?

= = ==
The best part of it was the invocation of God's blessing at the end of the clip - what beautiful irony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the allusion to the nation's interest and of course the bouncing pot belly.
So now you as President must move. The Legal Profession Act has enough clout for immediate action. The rot has to be excised and NOW and from within the profession. The clip displays conduct that is reprehensible. Do not waste time in calling for EGMs or humming or hawing. If the Bar Council can see fit to suspend lawyers for far lesser transgressions than that displayed here then this calls for the gallows. You either move now or you don't.
On another note I can only express sadness that I have wasted close to 38 years in this profession and failed to cultivate the warm friendships displayed on the clip. Woe is me for having taken the road less travelled. Imagine the pomp and splendour and gold and glitter, and titles of course, I could have collected if I had only built up a friendship with the man with the phone in his hand - but then, on reflection, I would most probably have slit my own throat first then go down that path.

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In light of this video clip, will the Parliament still remain silent with closed eyes on the issue of judges appointment? will the Judiciary or rather the CJ stand firmly to deny that that was him on the phone with the lawyer? will the Bar start another polling to see if an EGM should be held on this issue (although nothing might happen eventually)?

= = == = === == = == = == = == = == = == = == = =
Background: Unfolding of the Sensational Revelation of the VideoClip by Anwar Ibrahim

= == = = =ABOVE: Anwar Ibrahim (Left) with Lawyer Sivarasa(PKR Vice President)

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 (ES) - Anwar Ibrahim, former deputy premier and the de-facto leader of People's Justice Party (PKR) called a press conference at a location in Petaling Jaya this morning for a sneak preview of a video footage which allegedly implicates major personalities in the country.

ABOVE: Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim (LEFT) SEEN TALKING TO THE SENIOR LAWYER VK Lingham (RIGHT)
The video recording showing the personality involved talking on his mobile phone, was eight minutes in duration and an audio snippet mentioning Anwar was also played to the press. He added his appeals against his sodomy and abuse of power convictions were tainted and that he was denied a proper and fair trial.

The video footage was verified by Anwar as authentic, and according to him the source will remain unnamed until the time is right. He also said PKR will be bringing the video to the attention of the Bar Council. The viewing which was attended in full force by nearly 30 media practitioners ended midday.= = =

Statement by Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the VK Lingam and Tun Ahmad Fairuz Video Scandal

This video recording implicates the highest office of judiciary in a conspiracy to pervert the cause of justice through the machinations of a lawyer tainted with a scandalous history involving questionable dealings and conduct that brings disrepute to the legal and judicial professions.

ABOVE: shows both families posing outside another Queenstown's tourist attraction, the Kiwi & Birdlife Park and BELOW depicts the two men and their wives posing in front of Bob Peak's Skyline Gondola & Restaurant, a cable-car linked hill-top tourist spot.
Photos: courtesy:Jeffooi, details H E R E

In 1994, lawyer VK Lingam was photographed (see ABOVE)with the then Chief Justice Tun Eusoffe Chin holidaying in New Zealand under circumstances that would give rise to the inference of a serious breach of professional conduct on part of the lawyer and even more serious implications of unethical conduct on the part of the Chief Justice. Lingam was also implicated in the PricewaterhouseCoopers report which was tabled to Parliament following a thorough audit investigation of the Perwaja Steel scandal involving the loss of billions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money. In this video, Lingham was seen and heard to be talking to the current Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim wherein my name, among others, is specifically mentioned. It is mentioned in the context of a conspiracy to influence the appointment of senior judges and pervert the cause of justice. In view of this, we have reason to believe that whatever has transpired in this exchange in 2002 had some bearing on the outcomes in a number of judicial proceedings, including mine.

The video also implicates Vincent Tan, and Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. The former is a businessman and gaming tycoon who was allegedly at the center of a scandal involving the abuse of the judicial process now known as the Ayer Molek case. The latter is a prominent Umno leader and a member of the Cabinet who was involved in the political conspiracy to remove me in 1998.

Such a scandalous expose, as indeed this video really is, only serves to corroborate our allegations of a political conspiracy of the highest level and corruption of the highest judicial office, seriously bringing into question the impartiality of judicial proceedings involving the affected parties. This is matter of utmost public importance and we demand the setting up of an Independent Tribunal to investigate this shameful and scandalous episode. In this regard, we make a special appeal to the conference of rulers to continue to play their constitutionally entrenched role in safeguarding the rights of the people by exercising their discretionary powers in all matters within their jurisdiction.

Anwar said the video proved that his appeals against his sodomy and abuse of power convictions were tainted and that he was denied a proper and fair trial. Anwar, however, did not disclose the person who took the video. Transcript of Lingam's conversation with Ahmad Fairuz prepared by Malaysiakini

Below is a transcript of the conversation by senior lawyer VK Lingam in his telephone conversation with Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, as recorded in an eight-minute video clip.

= == = == = == = == = == Below Full Transcript of Video Clip
Senior Lawyer V K Lingam Speaking to the Present Chief Justice

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The CJ said he is relative to now Agong, so he wants to stay on to 68, so... Tengku Adnan, I told Tengku Adnan, yesterday I had a meeting with him.

He said PM is already very angry with him, he said no problem he is going to make you acting err.. confirm your position as PCA, working very hard, then working very hard to get Tan Sri Mokhtar as CJM.
Ah, we just keep it confidential. I am working very hard on it.

Then there is a letter, according to Tengku - I am going to see him tomorrow - there is a letter sent to CJ, I mean Tan Sri Dzaiddin, that Datuk Heliliah, Datuk Ramli, Datuk Ramli and Datuk Ma'roop be made judges, and he rejected Dr Andrew Chui and apa itu Zainuddin Ismail lah. Because Zainuddin Ismail condemned your appointment and Tan Sri Mokhtar's appointment.
And then you also, you seem to write a letter for the remaining five be confirmed as judges. As per our memo I discuss with Tun Eusoff Chin, and we sent the same memo to PM.
I just want to get a copy (of the) letter that that has been done.

And then Tan Sri Dzaiddin said he is going to recommend six people for the Court of Appeal, but until today the letter hasn't come to PM. He never discuss, but neither he has sent the letter to PM. Yes, he has not sent. I know it is under the constitution for judges all that is your job, Datuk, to send, but we don't want to make it an issue now.
Ah. Okay. Actually I told Tengku Adnan to inform PM - PM to call you for a meeting. I organise it so that Tengku Adnan will call you directly. And then I got your number, I will tell him to call you directly for you to meet PM lah. So should be okay, then ar.. correct, correct, it is very important that the key players must be there.

Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. You know that the same problem that Tun Eusoff Chin has. He tried to do all this and yet he has run out of soldiers. He couldn't do it because many are from the other camp. Last time was unfortunate because Tun Daim was doing everything, sabotaging.
Otherwise, how are things with you - everything is okay? No, don't worry.

You know sometimes Tan Sri Vincent (ABOVE, right, vacationing with families) that half the time they are talking about judiciary rather than doing the work. But if I don't do this part, my work will be useless.
Ha, ha, ha. Ah, yes. Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. Right, right, right, correct. Ah, right, susah. You see, he has now up for six Court of Appeal judges, so that he can put his men before he retires.
Correct, correct, correct, ah, and then ah, correct. But never mind, I will do this. I will get Tengku Adnan to arrange for PM to call you and Tan Sri Vincent Tan for PM to call you. And you know why? Actually, I am very grateful with Tan Sri Vincent Tan. You know why? I brainwash you so much even I quarrel with him.
One day, I went to Vincent Tan's house, I fired him at night in his house. I said bloody hell if you don't do this, who will do it?

All these people Tun Eusoff Chin, Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, Tan Sri Zainon, all fought for that. Then he called Tengku Adnan. Tengku Adnan, he said saya bukan Perdana Menteri Malaysia lah, you know. If the old man doesn't want to listen to me, go to hell.
He quarreled with me. I said never mind, never mind, you talk to PM again tomorrow morning to put Datuk Ahmad Fairuz to CJM. So next day morning, he went and he called me back 9.30 that he said PM has already agreed.

So I said never mind, we hope for the best. So I said no harm trying - the worst that it can happen is that you lose. Being the old man, he is 76 years old, he gets whispers everywhere, and then you don't whisper, he get taken away by the other side. But, now PM is very alert because every time he gets letters from Tan Sri Dzaiddin, he called Tengku Adnan, he said discuss with Vincent - come and discuss.
Yes yes, ya. Correct, correct, ya, but you see although I know PM, I am a lawyer in practice, my views are.. I go through them, I go through them lah. Ah, ah, ah, ah.
And then Dzaiddin will call them telling that you went saw PM and you make a big issue out of it. Oh ya, I think so, I think so.
Okay, fine, fine, fine, fine. Okay, okay, okay, okay.
Ah, ah. Correct, correct. Now I heard Raja Aziz, Raja Aziz two weeks ago spoke to my lawyer Thayalan and another lawyer Ailan in the High Court - they have a case each other. So, Thayalan and Ailan asked Raja Aziz, how is Tan Sri Wan Adnan?
He said he is on his way down. But you know what is the shocking thing he said? Datuk Fairuz became CJM. He overruled everybody. In three months time, he is going be made PCA, and six months time, he is going to be CJ. He said he can't think, he's shocked. He told us.

Ha, it seems that they are going to organise a campaign to run you down. But you just keep quite, don't say anything. Even the press asked, you said I leave it to God, that's all. Don't say. I really like your message. You said you work very hard, what can I do? I leave it to God.
That's the best answer, Datuk, that you can ever be.
Ah... I will also get Tan Sri to remind PM to put a Tan Sri-ship this year lah. This will elevate you, you know.
Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. Ha. Steve Shim got so fast, Tan Sri Chong waited for whole year to get Tan Sri-ship.
Ah.. My God that's why, ah. Correct, correct, correct, correct. Ya, ya, ya, ya. Right, right, right. Correct, correct.
Don't worry, we organise this. If Tan Sri Vincent and Tengku Adnan want to meet you privately, they will, I will call you. We organise in a private arrangement, in a very neutral place.

No, don't worry, Datuk, I know how much you suffer for Tun Eusoff Chin. And Tun said 'Datuk Ahmad Fairuz, 110 percent loyalty'. We want to make sure our friends are there for the sake of the PM and the sake of the country. Not for our own interest, not for our own interest. We want to make sure the country come first. Well, you suffered so well, so much you have done. For the election, Wee Choo Keong, everything. How much, nobody would have done all these.
Yes, you know. Good lah. Don't worry. I am constantly working on this.
Ya, ya, don't worry, don't worry. We work hard on this. And Datuk, and then if Tan Sri Vincent and Tengku Adnan want to see you, I will organise it in such a confidential place.

Okay, Datuk, very best. God bless you and your family.
Okay. Thank you, thank you. Bye.

= = == = =article by IHT 7 years ago

Vacation Photos Land Top Malaysia Judge in Hot Water

By Thomas Fuller; Published: THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2000

KUALA LUMPUR: A government minister's recent comments about "improper" socializing on the part of Malaysia's chief justice have snowballed into a rare, public debate on the independence of the judiciary. The controversy centers on photographs of Eusoff Chin, the top judge, who is shown with his arm around a prominent lawyer during a vacation in New Zealand. The photographs, which were posted on the Internet, have been called a matter of "grave public concern," by the Bar Council, which says it is considering holding an inquiry over the matter. The controversy comes at a crucial time for the court system, with a decision in the sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister, possibly just weeks away. Final arguments in that case will be heard next week. Malaysian government officials seldom quarrel in public, but the debate over Judge Eusoff's 1994 vacation in New Zealand has been unusually overt and contentious. The minister charged with legal affairs, Rais Yatim, criticized the chief justice's behavior last month during an Australian radio interview.

"Certainly such socializing, shall I say, is not in keeping with the proper behavior of a judicial personality," Mr. Rais said, adding that this had been conveyed to the chief justice "in no uncertain terms." Judge Eusoff is seen in the photographs with V.K. Lingam, a lawyer for one of Malaysia's biggest business tycoons. Mr. Lingam has in the past appeared before Judge Eusoff in court. Last week Judge Eusoff called a press conference to say that the meeting with Mr. Lingam was a chance encounter. "I bumped into him there," Judge Eusoff was quoted as saying in the Sun newspaper. "As a Malaysian in a foreign country, I was happy to see a fellow countryman. I told him I was going to the zoo, and he asked if he could tag along." But Malaysia's most influential online newspaper,, challenged that version of events Wednesday, citing a report by a private investigator that included ticket stubs showing that the chief justice and his family were on the same flights as Mr. Lingam and his family.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by the International Herald Tribune, was prepared by Dan McCarthy of Bowman Investigations Ltd., a London-based firm. It was commissioned by a Malaysian law firm for use in a case that has since been settled. "We are able to show, through flight tickets and itinerary, that both families returned from Christchurch via Auckland and Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on 30th December 1994," the report says. The Malaysian judiciary has come under heavy criticism by opposition politicians and legal groups in the past two years after several controversial judgments involving high-profile politicians, including Mr. Anwar. Sulaiman Abdullah, president of the Malaysian Bar Council, said last week the issue of the chief justice's holiday in New Zealand had given rise to "serious public concern as to the administration of justice" and the "proper relationship between members of the judiciary and members of the bar."

The private investigator's 45-page report provides no evidence that Judge Eusoff's travel expenses and those of his family were paid for by anyone but himself. Judge Eusoff told reporters last week that he would sue anyone who alleged that the trip was paid for by someone else. Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, who returned late Tuesday from a trip overseas, said there was a "political agenda" in the controversy. "There is ill intention to pit the government against the judges," he said. Mr. Lingam is representing the business tycoon Vincent Tan in a defamation suit against M.G.G. Pillai, a free-lance journalist whose appeal in the Federal Court, the country's highest court, was heard by a panel headed by the chief justice. Mr. Pillai, whom a lower court ordered in late 1998 to pay 2 million ringgit ($526,000) to Mr. Tan, is still awaiting a decision on his appeal.

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and DAP Futile attempt 7 years ago in Parliament; (without the evidence then)

Mahathir’s statement on the controversy over Eusoff Chin most outrageous, the height of irresponsibility and the latest blot on government’s lack of commitment on a just rule of law by refusing to support the principle of judicial accountability

Media Statementby Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): The statement by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at the Subang International Airport yesterday on his return from Japan that he did not see any need for the setting up of a tribunal or Royal Commission to investigate the conduct of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Tun Eusoff Chin and alleging "a political agenda" to "strip" Eusoff of his post is most outrageous, the height of irresponsibility and the latest blot on the government’s lack of commitment on a just rule of law by refusing to support the principle of judicial accountability.
Either Mahathir genuinely does not understand or pretends not to understand that the controversy over Tun Eusoff Chin’s holiday and "socialising" with lawyer Datuk V. K. Lingam in
New Zealand in December 1994 involves the important principle of judicial accountability, which is critical to the maintenance of public confidence in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.
The Prime Minister is no stranger to making outrageous statements and allegations but what he said yesterday must rank as his most outrageous statement in his 19 years as Prime Minister, when he said he "believed there were attempts to create friction within the Government machinery out of the quarrel between the Prime Minister’s Department and the Chief Justice", that "those behind the attempts were hoping that judges would become disillusioned, leading them into making unfavourable rulings against the government", and that there were "political motives behind this, with the intention of putting judges and the Government at loggerheads" so that "when judges get angry, they will make ruling that will not benefit the Government".

By making such a statement, Mahathir was not only haunted by the "ghost" of Anwar Ibrahim, but making a blatant and unashamed call to judges to rule in favour of the Government regardless of the principle of judicial accountability.

Mahathir had blithely ignored the fact that it was the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Rais Yatim who sparked off the controversy over Eusoff Chin’s "improper judicial conduct" when judges are prohibited even from engaging in "appearances of impropriety". Even more serious, the Prime Minister had chosen to disregard the fact that no attempts had been made by Eusoff Chin to give a full and proper public accounting of his New Zealand holiday although photographs of him and Lingam had surfaced on the Internet since early 1998, leaving many questions antithetical to the principle of judicial accountability unanswered.

In fact, in the October Parliament last year, I had tabled a substantive motion about serious allegations of judicial impropriety for debate but the government refused to give it time.

My substantive motion had read:
"That this House, under Standing Order 36(8),

"EXPRESSES grave concern at the most serious allegations about judicial impropriety alleged in court in August in the Asian Wall Street Journal (AWSJ) defamation case, viz:

o that the 1994 judgment by Justice Datuk Mohtar Sidin in the Tan Sri Vincent Tan vs MGG Pillai defamation was ‘written in part by the plaintiff's counsel, Dato V.K. Lingam, and initially typed by the said Dato V.K. Lingam's secretaries, viz. one Jayanthi and Sumanthi’; that the judgment was corrected by the said Dato V.K. Lingam and the final draft dispatched’ to the judge ‘on floppy disk.’

o That Datuk Lingam placed Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin in his debt by getting their families to holiday together in New Zealand. The holiday involved flights together to luxury resorts in Queenstown and Christchurch, where Dato V.K. Lingam and the chief justice ‘posed for pictures with their arms around each other and with each other's families.’

"NOTES that neither Tun Eusuff Chin nor Datuk Mohtar Sidin had responded or cleared their name although more than a month had passed since the allegations of judicial impropriety although they strike at the very core of public confidence in judicial independence and intetgrity;

"CALLS on Tun Eusuff Chin and Datuk Mohtar Sidin to appear before the full House of the Dewan Rakyat to answer the charges of judicial impropriety and to defend their integrity."

Although my substantive motion was not allowed to be debated, no action had been taken by any quarter to respond and answer these serious charges of judicial impropriety.

Mahathir’s dismissal yesterday of the call for a judicial tribunal or a Royal Commission of Inquiry even before the Cabinet could meet today is a sad commentary on Cabinet impotence and irrelevance on the 19th year of Mahathir as Prime Minister of Malaysia. (14/6/2000)

= == = ==and what did Rais Yatim said 7 years ago?

June 30, 2000 VOL. 29 NO. 25 ; Chan Looi Tat for Asiaweek

ABOVE: Then newly appointed minister in the Prime Minister's Department overseeing legal affairs opened his big mouth and got into trouble

Rais says judges should watch whom they associate with
'No Law Against It' - Minister Rais Yatim says it's okay to comment on the judiciary


Malaysia's judiciary is under close scrutiny these days, and not just because of the ongoing sodomy trial of ousted deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. Earlier this year, a panel comprising members from several international legal groups issued a 121-page report called Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia in 2000. In its recommendations, the report made no reference to Chief Justice Eusoff Chin. But in a separate section of the report, the panel said they had discussed with Eusoff a 1994 trip he had made to New Zealand, where he and his family were pictured with a prominent Malaysian lawyer, V.K. Lingam. The report noted that Eusoff "adamantly denied" to the panel any improper behavior on his part.
The matter might have ended there if not for Rais Yatim, gadfly, lawyer and a new minister in the Prime Minister's Department overseeing legal affairs. During a recent radio interview in
Australia, Rais was asked about the New Zealand photographs of Eusoff with Lingam, which have been posted on the Internet since 1998. Said Rais: "Such socializing is not in keeping with the proper behavior of a judicial personality, and this has been intimated to [the chief justice] in no uncertain terms."
Eusoff responded with a press conference showing his bills and receipts for the
New Zealand trip, and threatening to sue anyone who alleged that someone else had paid for his vacation. He said he had merely bumped into Lingam in New Zealand: "I was going to the zoo and he asked, 'Could I tag along?'" Eusoff denied that Rais had discussed the New Zealand holiday with him. On the call Rais had also made for "rejuvenation" of the judiciary, Eusoff retorted that the minister was responsible only for court logistics and equipment. Eusoff noted that the New Zealand trip had been raised in a poison-pen letter in 1995 and was subsequently investigated and cleared by Malaysia's Anti-Corruption Agency.
Opposition politicians and the local Bar Council have long expressed concern about the judiciary, especially after 1988, when PM Mahathir Mohamad clashed with the Supreme Court over decisions that went against his administration. Eventually, three Supreme Court judges were removed, including the then head of the courts. But the war of words between Rais and Eusoff marks a rare public feud between two top government officials. Asiaweek approached both Rais, 57, and Eusoff, 65, to tell their sides of the story. Rais sat down for an interview on June 12. As for Eusoff, who has been given a six months' extension at his job, he responded through his aides that he had "no comment" to make. Below are excerpts from the talk Correspondent Santha Oorjitham had with Rais:

Can you elaborate on your remarks to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.?
I gave a talk on Malaysian civil liberties to a forum organized by the Australian National University. Afterwards, a reporter from ABC asked me a few questions about the Justice in Jeopardy report. I said that the Malaysian judiciary, like any other judiciary, needs to renew itself from time to time. I used the word "rejuvenation." That was subsequently objected to, in a way, by the chief justice. Secondly, when the question was popped regarding the alleged picture of the chief justice, I said I was aware of it and had seen it on the Internet. I said if the picture were true, those involved, especially the icons of the judiciary, ought to be very circumspect. I said I'm sure the CJ knows about it and I have quite clearly intimated that personalities in the judiciary should be very careful about their associations and friendships.

What do you mean by rejuvenation?
Progressively growing with the demands of the times. [The judiciary] should learn how to operate a PC, for example. They should take heed of the cyberworld. The more judges putting away their pens from now on, the better. So, more IT [information technology], judges more IT-literate, more merit and scholarship into the system, to see a viable and robust judiciary which could take care of the onslaught of the millennium and not cling on to the so-called sacrosanct view of the past [that] you can't touch the judiciary with a 10-foot pole.

I would like to differ on the idea that the judiciary cannot be commented upon. There is no law against it. Everybody should be given the right to comment on [the judiciary] so long as it does not interfere with judicial responsibilities and functions. Although the CJ has branded me as one only responsible for tables and chairs, with due respect, I do know one or two things about the judiciary without having to sit on the bench. [I have] my rights as a citizen and as minister in charge of legal affairs. When it comes to matters pertaining to public interest, like the backlog of cases, impropriety of certain methods of doing things, we are free to comment.

So what is the line between acceptable comment and contempt of court?
Contempt of court is when you pass an opinion on a case that is still ongoing or disparage the judges in a manner that they cannot defend themselves. You should not bring odium to their character. Contempt is rather restrictive in that manner. For example, the ongoing case of Anwar Ibrahim -- if one were to pass judgment or assessment on the sodomy matter, that would be regarded as contempt. But other than that, you can comment on the affairs of the judiciary, with respect to public interest.

Are there guidelines on the conduct of judges outside the courtroom, including their social lives?
It's difficult to pinpoint what a judge can and cannot do outside courtroom hours, but definitely to be circumspect about personal relations is one of them. If a judge is seen too much inclined toward certain persons, it could conjure up a difficult position. The principle against bias is one of the pillars of the rule of law. It is not difficult to envisage that the more free one is from such infringements, the better.

What do you think of the chief justice's reaction to your comments?
It was somewhat of an over-reaction.

Does the cabinet support you?
Yes, including [Finance and Special Functions Minister] Tun Daim Zainuddin and [Youth and Sports Minister] Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, as head of UMNO Youth. I appreciate that.

What do you think of the Justice in Jeopardy report?
Overall, they condemn the system without the opportunity of availing points of rebuttal from various quarters. They arbitrarily pick out cases in the past and condemn those cases. They should also take cognizance of the record of the Malaysian judiciary overall and not only for the past two years. The proven track record of the judiciary pertaining to case decisions, good judgments, judgments against even the government -- these were not taken into account at all. Only the previous cases of the last two years were highlighted, mainly involving Anwar Ibrahim. That is rather esoteric and one-sided, if not biased. They don't consider the track record of the judiciary prior to the Anwar Ibrahim affair.

= == = == ==and what was the reaction 7 years ago at the Bar Council, Malaysia?

Current controversy relating to the Chief Justice's holiday in New Zealand Friday, 09 June 2000, 12:00am

The on-going public exchange of statements relating to events arising out of the Honourable Chief Justice’s holiday in New Zealand has given rise to serious public concern as to the administration of justice, the image of the Judiciary, the proper relationship between members of the Judiciary and members of the Bar, and most importantly, the respective roles of the Executive and the Judiciary.
Some press reports have tended to give the impression that the Bar Council, through its then Chairman, Dato’ Dr. Cyrus Das, has played the role of examining documents relating to the holiday and pronouncing itself satisfied. It is necessary, therefore, to clarify the situation both to members of the Malaysian Bar as well as to the general public. In early 1998 when the photographs of the Honourable Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia on holiday came to public knowledge the then Vice-President of the Malaysian Bar, Saudara R.R. Chelvarajah, and the then Secretary, Saudara Mah Weng Kwai, met the Chief Justice.

They asked him to recuse (disqualify) himself from sitting as part of the panel to hear an appeal involving Dato’ Param Cumaraswamy on the ground that the lawyer photographed with the Chief Justice in New Zealand, Dato’ V.K. Lingam, would be appearing as counsel in the appeal. After the 2 representatives of the Bar had put the position of the Bar to the Chief Justice they were informed that the Chief Justice would consider the matter. Subsequently, the Chief Justice informed the then President, Dato’ Dr. Cyrus Das, that the Chief Justice would not sit to hear any matter where Dato’ V.K. Lingam was appearing.

In 1999 when Dato’ Dr. Cyrus Das was no longer President of the Malaysian Bar he had occasion to meet the Chief Justice several times over preparations for the Commonwealth Law Conference which was scheduled to be held in September 1999 as well as the special programme for Chief Justices from around the Commonwealth attending the Conference. At one of these meetings the Chief Justice indicated a large stack of credit card documents and bills on his table and said something to the effect that those documents would show that he had paid for his holiday.

Dato’ Dr. Cyrus Das politely advised the Chief Justice to keep the documents safely. Dato’ Dr. Cyrus Das was of the view that as he was not the President of the Bar when the incident occurred it was not something he should report to the Bar Council. Upon ascertaining the above facts over the past few days and after considering the various statements issued the Bar Council was of the view that as the whole issue of the photographs and holiday in New Zealand was now a matter of grave public concern it was imperative that the Malaysian Bar, in the exercise of its public duty of upholding the cause of justice, should deliberate on all the issues raised and express the considered view of the Malaysian Bar. In the circumstances, the Bar Council is convening an urgent General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar to consider resolutions relevant to the whole issue of the integrity of the Judiciary.Details of the meeting and resolutions will be released as soon as they are finalised.
9th June 2000.

= = == = == = =And what did Anwar Ibrahim do 7ears ago? .. recuse Tun Eusoff Chin from his 2nd appeal

The Full Text of Anwar Ibrahim's Address During His Appeal on the Judge's Decision to Disallow the Defense from Calling the Prime Minister to Court to Testify at His Second Trial

I respectfully am applying to this court for your Lordship Tun Eusoff Chin, the Chief Justice to disqualify himself from hearing this appeal. The essence of a fair trial is that the proceedings including appeals thereafter are conducted by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. This principle is enshrined in international law and practice, and the Malaysian Constitution.
Ref: UN Declartion of Human Rights (Article 10), further elaborated in the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 14(1)).
In Valente vs. The Queen (1988) 2.S.S.R.673
The Supreme Court of Canada set out the distinction between impartiality and independence. It described impartiality as a "state of mind or attitude of the tribunal to the issues and the parties in a particular case" whereas independence focussed on the status of the court or tribunal in its relationship with others particularly the executive branch of the Government. The Court asserted that the traditional objective guarantees for judicial independence must be supplemented with the requirement that the Court or tribunal be reasonably perceived as independent. This additional requirement was deemed necessary to ensure not only that justice is done in individual cases, but also of ensuring public confidence in the justice system." The Court added:

"Without that confidence the system cannot command the respect and acceptance that are essential to its effective operation, It is, therefore, important that a tribunal should be perceived as independent, as well as impartial, and that the test for independence should include that perception. The perception must, however, as I have suggested, be a perception of whether the tribunal enjoys the essential objective conditions or guarantees of judicial independence, and not a perception of how it will in fact act, regardless of whether it enjoys such conditions or guarantees."(p.689) The applicable test for recusal as laid down by the appellate courts of Australia, Canada, U.K. and recently reiterated by the Constitutional Court of South Africa is as follows:

"...The question is whether reasonable, objective and informed person would on the correct facts reasonably apprehend that the Judge has not or will not bring an impartial mind to bear on the adjudication of the case, that is a mind open to persuasion by the evidence and the submissions of counsel. The reasonableness of the apprehension must be assessed in the light of the oath of office taken by the Judges to administer justice without fear or favour, and their ability to carry out that oath by reason of their training and experience. It must be assumed that they can disabuse their minds of any irrelevant personal beliefs and predispositions. They must take into account the fact that they have a duty to sit in any case in which they are not obliged to recuse themselves. At the same time, it must never be forgotten that an impartial Judge is a fundamental prerequisite for a fair trial and judicial officer should not hesitate to recuse herself or himself if there are reasonable grounds in the past of the litigant for apprehending that the judicial officer, for whatever reasons, was not or will not be impartial."(President of the Republic of S. Africa and others vs. S. Africa Rugby Football Union and others 1999 (4) SA147)
It is not for the Judge called upon to recuse to say that he will be independent or impartial. It is how a reasonable objective and informal person will perceive.

I am conscious of the presumption that judicial officers are impartial in adjudication disputes. I am equally conscious of the principle that the onus is upon me to rebut that presumption by adducing urgent and convincing facts.

My application for recusal are based on the following grounds:
1. I have ample evidence to show that the CJ craved for an additional six months extension, to ensure that no action would be preferred against him, and to ensure that I fail in my appeal. I am also privy, then as DPM, to the fact that the ACA had prepared a preliminary report against the CJ in 1998 over corruption.
Undoubtedly, there were precedents to the extension what is exceptional in this case is that it was given amidst public knowledge of the CJ's misconduct. And with the issue of the tribunal being pursued and the issue of corruption left hanging, would the CJ dare cause the displeasure of the PM? Particularly so, when I have been appealing to the courts not to allow itself to be used to legitimise political persecution!
In early August 1998, the CJ called on me at the Treasury, initially to express his sympathies and concern over the scurrilous and malicious allegations against me. He then accused a Cabinet Minister and a lawyer of smearing his reputation. He further mentioned to me that the Attorney General was disturbed that the said lawyer had claimed that he would be recommended by me to replace the AG, Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah. I denied. The following when I met the CJ at Parliament House, I noticed a distinct change in his demeanour and was rather cold and aloof. I gathered later that something was amiss after he was summoned a few times by the PM. It was later confirmed that the PM had decided to dismiss and prosecute me and that the CJ was incorporated into the scheme. This is a major cause of apprehension to me.

2. It is now public knowledge that certain improprieties have been leveled against the CJ. The allegations, together with photographs and other documentary evidence are widely disseminated through the Internet and the alternative media. A serving Minister, when questioned about the CJ's conduct described it as "improper". The revelations about the CJ's family holiday travel to New Zealand with lawyer Dato VK Lingam's family in late 1994, compounded by his attempt to dismiss the episode as "coincidental" in contrast to the facts revealed in the Bowman Report exposed the discrepancies and contradictions and have brought into question the CJ's conduct and credibility. Rule 3(1)(d) of the Judges' Code of Ethics reads:
"conduct himself dishonestly or in such manner as to bring the judiciary into disrepute or to bring discredit thereto ..."
The Constitution provides under Article 125 (3) that a judge could be removed on ground of breach of the Code. The Prime Minister makes a representation to the Yang diPertuan Agong to appoint a tribunal. In the meantime, Article 125(5) stipulates that the judge concerned could be suspended from his office pending the tribunal hearing.

Dato V K Lingam's name surfaced earlier when I presented the preliminary report on Perwaja to Parliament in 1996. In the Price Water House's report, the fees paid for legal services were considered exorbitant and "questionable" coming to millions. The CJ was known to have made critical comments on my announcement. I chose to ignore the comments, not being aware then of his close association with Dato VK Lingam.
A Cabinet minister and a lawyer met the PM and me separately to allege the CJ of the improprieties. Accordingly I advised them to report to the Anti Corruption Agency. I did not initiate the investigations as alleged by the CJ. Incidentally, attempts by the Malaysian Bar Council to deliberate on the conduct of the CJ and recommend the setting up of a tribunal was evidently frustrated and derailed through a select judicial process providing a restrictive interpretation of Article 125 and 127 of the Constitution.

We had one of the best judiciaries in the Commonwealth, or in this part of the world. However, under the CJ's leadership, it has deteriorated to such a level further eroding public confidence. Even when I was Minister of Finance, the Bar, Bank Negara and the Treasury informed me of several feedbacks from foreign investors and local businessmen, as to their loss of confidence in the Malaysian judiciary. Many of the international contracts now contain clauses that in the event of any dispute or litigation arising from these contracts, the parties involved will not resort to Malaysian courts, but instead subject themselves to arbitration, usually in a foreign forum. The appraisals and concerns expressed on these issues by me in appropriate forums with the Bar, Bank Negara and the cabinet were viewed with contempt by the CJ.
The appeal of MGG Pillai and others in the Tan Sri Vincent Tan case reveals serious improprieties in the part of the CJ. Arguments in that appeal was heard by the Federal Court presided by the CJ on
January 12, 1998. Judgement was not delivered until July 12,2000 - more than two and a half years later. Rule 3(1) (f) of the Judges' Code of Ethics provides as follows:
"inordinately and without reasonable explanation delay in the disposal of cases, the delivery of decisions and the meeting of grounds of judgement."

The reason given by the CJ was flimsy, i.e. that the delay was because the judges could not agree on the quantum! (The Star - June 7,2000) However, when judgement was in fact delivered, one of the three, namely Justice Chong Siew Fai, had already retired on July 3. The single judgement written by the CJ was delivered in open court by the Senior Assistant Registrar.
It is also relevant to note that the earlier High Court Judgement was delivered by Judge Dato Moktar Sidin. Revelations on how the judgement was written in part by Dato VK Lingam shows the extent of the decadence among some members of the judiciary.
The CJ was apparently impervious, sitting in the same MGG Pillai appeal when the counsel who argued for the respondent Tan Sri Vincent Tan was Dato VK Lingam, perceived as his close friend. The CJ ought to have voluntarily recused himself from hearing the appeal. Subsequently in another case where Dato Lingam appeared for one of the parties, the CJ recused at the request of the Bar Council when the holiday photographs were produced.

The CJ reached his age of retirement on June 19, 2000, and Dato Sri Dr. Mahathir had dismissed any possibility of making representations for a tribunal. (1) But most amazing amidst public consternation about the CJ's conduct, he extended the CJ's term of office for another six months, suggesting that:
"we have the need to see that everything is in place before he leaves."(2)

(1) See star June 14,2000 (2) NST June 17,2000.

Is my appeal on the agenda: "to see that everything is in place"? This perception that the CJ has become more beholden to the Prime Minister is pertinent. There is reasonable apprehension to the effect. All along my defence has consistently seen that the malicious and fabricated charges, inter alia, has been that there was a political conspiracy at the highest level to dismiss, persecute and vilify me with Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir as the maestro.
In any event, the CJ should not be sitting in any new appeals during the extended six months. Though Article 125 (1) does not expressly say so, yet the purpose of the short extension is to enable the judge concerned to complete any unfinished business like outstanding judgements, and not to be assigned any new cases including appeals.
The CJ on a number of occasions found my remarks on the judiciary objectionable and abhorrent, and strongly protested to the Prime Minister. My decision to keep the rapport with the Bar Council, personalities such as Param Curnaraswamy; some of the speeches including with reference to the LIm Guan Eng case, and the access given to some senior Judges, including Judge Syed Ahmad Idid and Judge Dr. Visu Sinnadurai were regarded with contempt. My statement was seen as a personal attack on him and it angered him enormously.
In his first meeting with me as the DPM, I strongly urged him to accept the overtures from the Bar Council. Unfortunately, the CJ chose to adopt the confrontational politics inherited from Tun Hamid Omar. Be that as it may, that should not preclude my having meetings with representatives of the Bar to listen to their proposals and grievances.

I submitted to the PM and the Cabinet that Param Cumaraswamy, UN Special Representative is entitled to immunity from legal process during the course of his omission under the UN Convention on Privileges and Immunities. The CJ disputed this in a memo to the PM which was subsequently sent to me. Obviously the CJ had prejudiced Param's case and deplored my so-called intervention. Admittedly, I intervened at the personal request of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan. And this was conveyed to the Cabinet on 3rd December 1997. I alerted my Cabinet colleagues that Param's interview "Malaysian justice on trial" merit scrutiny. And by prolonging the issue, and by subjecting to the CJ, would seen untenable and an embarrassment to the Malaysian judiciary. Understandably, I was overruled by Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir. But, its most unbecoming of the CJ to cast aspersions and anger against me for expressing my views to the PM and the Cabinet.
In late July, 1998, Dato Seri Dr, Mahathir informed me that the CJ and the AG met him and denounced my speech in London as an attack on the AG's Chambers and the judiciary. I was mindful and circumspect of the sensitivities but I did relate to the students my predicament having to explain the decision on the Lim Guan Eng case, the solution being legal and judicial reform. The PM further intimated to me the CJ's extreme displeasure for what he perceived as personal attacks against him and undermining his authority.

The CJ should not have objected to my meeting Judge Syed Ahmad Idid. He sought an appointment prior to his retirement; i.e. after investigations over his controversial open letter was completed. But these were serious allegations of corruption, abuse of power, and misconduct or the CJ and some members of the judiciary. In retrospect, looking at these complaints, many of the allegations contained therein appear to have been substantiated.
In another case, one of the most qualified judges in the country opted to resign rather than be subjected to the CJ's victimisation. I had personal knowledge of the alleged victimisation through uncouth disciplinary methods and occasional transfers to Muar and finally to Tawau. Again I intervened and intimated the Prime Minister. Unfortunately, the CJ was adamant and the judiciary's last Judge Dr. Visu Sinnadurai who had such impeccable credentials. Judge Dr. Visu had earlier written a Memorandum on the Judiciary including Proposals for Reform in the Judiciary. The memo was a confidential document to the PM and myself and the DPM. The memo to the PM was submitted through me and I indicated my support to most of the proposals. Unfortunately, being anathema to reforms, and seeking a judiciary that works in cohort with the executive, the memo was detested by both the PM and the CJ.
The Memo/Report emphatically states that the "Malaysian Judiciary appears currently to be in a state of turmoil..." The Report enumerated Tun Eusoff Chin's demeanour, alienating the Bar, verbal exchange of challenges in the Press, citing for example the Ayer Molek case being "something was amiss in the Judiciary." (see extract of a Report on the Judiciary, on Eusoff Chin pp.11-13)

The Report attributes the blame to the CJ for aggravating the loss of public confidence in the Judiciary. "It even appears that the appointment of Judges to the High Court in the past few years were made not in accordance with the Federal Constitution insofar as there had been no prior consultation with the Chief Judge, at least of Malaya." As such only people known to be close to him, as cronies were appointed or promoted. A Judge with questionable integrity, and in the wake of negative representation from the Bar was promoted to the Court of Appeal.
Incidentally, this was the same Judge that I sought to disqualify from hearing my case at the Court of Appeal. Judge Dato Moktar Sidin retired to recuse himself even after my insistence of his clear impartiality and bias due to the deferment of his appointment to the Court of Appeal as a result of my meeting with the Rulers. In the pre-council to the Rulers Conference, the issue of alleged corrupt practice of Judge Dato Moktar was brought up. Subsequently the PM dismissed the allegations without investigation being carried out and facilitated his appointment. The CJ took it as a personal challenge that his recommended candidate was objected to.

The Report states, inter alia, "senior Judges are not promoted either because, it is said, the Prime Minister does not approve of them, or because of quota, or even on the ground that such persons are unsuitable as being 'anti-establishment.'" Other related issues were also highlighted, for example that "the Courts have arrogated to themselves the law making function", usurping the powers of the Chief Judge on transfers, distribution of cases, etc., and the fact that the "Judiciary is now rife with clashes of personalities, with less time for the development of the law." And yet most damaging to the image of the judiciary is the perception of biasness, friendly lawyers continue appearing before the CJ and the same judges and "by coincidence or otherwise, these lawyers appear before the same Judges and win their cases."

I have alluded to the infamous Ayer Molek Case, which have generated much public debate particularly in the legal fraternity. It has adversely affected the credibility of Judge Dato Azmel Maamor due to the questionable judgement that bear an appearance of being influenced by unseen hands. The fairs surrounding the case have been well documented in the law reports. But the observations of the Court of Appeal (comprising Dato NH Chan, Dato Siti Normah Yaacob, and Dato KC Vohrah), when allowing the Defendants' Appeal (on 31 July, 1995), on the facts of the case and the procedural manipulations involved bear repeating. Dato NH Chan, delivering the judgement of the Court of Appeal had the following to say:
(a) "This is a case about injustice which as been perpetrated by a court of law. This is also a case of abuse of the process of the High Court and, therefore, it concerns the inherent power which any court of justice must possess to prevent misuse of its procedure and in which the court has a duty to exercise this salutary power.

(b) "Here, the Plaintiffs through their legal advisers have abused the process of the High Court by instigating the injustice through misuse of the courts procedure by manipulating it in such a way that it becomes manifestly unfair to the Defendants. By doing what they did, these unethical lawyers have brought the administration of justice into disrepute among right-thinking people."

(c) ...These observations are made so that people will not say, 'something is rotten in the State of Denmark.' - Shakespeare Hamlet, 1.'
This timely rebuke by the Court of Appeal was welcome by the public because the excesses and corruption were getting pervasive. An expedited hearing by the Federal Court was heard within four days of the Plaintiffs' application (again involving Dato VK Lingam) at an
Ipoh sitting. The CJ constituted an unconstitutional Federal Court as it breached the provisions of Article 122 (2) of the Federal Constitution in that on member of the sitting was a judge of the High Court. The Counsel involved was a close friend of the CJ. The Court of Appeal's decision was overturned, and the relevant portions of the grounds of judgement of the Court of Appeal was expunged!

Allegations of corruption and instances of conflict of interest continue to undermine the integrity and rocked the foundation of the nations' judicial system. Exasperated by such developments, I chose to circulate the Ayer Molek judgements to the Cabinet, and specifically underling Dato NH Chan's rebuke and the Federal Court's alleged transgression of the Constitutional provision Article 122(2). The Prime Minister interjected by informing the Cabinet that he would seek clarification from the CJ. That episode was cited on a few meetings by the CJ showing a clear displeasure and prejudice towards me.
The CJ, according to one High Court Judge took exception to some of my speeches perceived to be critical of misdemeanours of some members of the judiciary, particularly my speech inaugurating the seventh Asean Law Association and the chapter 'Justice and the Law’, in my The Asian Renaissance (1996). I retorted to the said Judge that I merely reaffirmed the Constitutional mandate and democratic ideal, including the issue of separation of powers. May I further reiterate:

"Judges ought to exercise their judicial powers in accordance with the rule of law and not the rule of men. In doing so, judges must constantly bear in mind the legitimate expectations of the people as to their competency dedication and impartiality.....
The growing concern of the public regarding the increasing incidences of judicial indiscretions is a matter to be neither taken lightly nor viewed negatively...
Not only must judges display the requisite level of competence and expertise, they must, like Caesar's wife, be above suspicion." (The Asian Renaissance) 1996 (pp. 64-65)

I made reference to judges with impeccable credential. There are many other judges still in our judiciary who discharge their duties according to the oath of office, and who are also guided by their religious duty and moral courage, respect the rule of law and be dictated by their conscience. For, it is in them that the future and the hope of our judiciary lies.

The most distressing that the CJ should consider my clamour for judicial and legal reforms as a personal threat to him. He should not have summarily dismissed it as merely echoing "foreign sentiments." Long before the report "Malaysian Judiciary in Jeopardy" was released, our Lord Presidents, Judges, the Malaysian Bar and others, consistent with all the great traditions of mankind enjoin the maintenance of the rule of law and the dispensation of justice. Clearly, my criticisms of "retrogressive judgements from our own courts" and insistence for "progressive reforms" to be instituted was resented by the CJ. Such reform and reviews are critical to ensure that our ideals of justice are not compromised and our laws not rendered archaic and obsolete. (The Asian Renaissance) 1996 (pp. 68-70).
The test applicable for recusal is whether a reasonable objective person informed of these facts would have any confidence in the Chief Justice to dispense independent and impartial justice. The scurrilous allegations, the malicious persecution preferred against me is as consistently contended in my defense, a result of a high level conspiracy involving the supreme, Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir himself instructing the instruments of the state to persecute and vilify me. I must prove my innocence. I need to be adjudicated by an independent judiciary. And I fear with the grounds stated, and with all that I know of you, subservient to the Prime Minister and now beholden to him, I am apprehensive of your impartiality on this appeal.
Hence, I urge you, please CJ, recuse.


Tuesday, 1 August, 2000

= == = == = == = = =

= == = == = =

= = == =Watch the celebrated Video Clip (8mins +)

= = == = == = =

and back to the Current Time, Day 5 (18th Jan 08)Testimony from the Former CJ Eusoff Chin - also the day the launch of the New Proton Saga

the STAR has an excellent Q & A on it and Go H E R E ON

More Pics - Eusoff Chin Unrepresented Told to get Get a Lawyer; Evasive with Denials; Confusing – Met Lingam First at Changi Airport or NZ Zoo to tag along?
His lapse in memory is astounding
. Knowing someone for so long, he claimed he cannot recognize Lingam in the Video Clip but “sounds like him” after viewing it


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You keep a very good records of all the events. Well Done.

12:51 PM  
Blogger dave said...

Thank you very much for giving so much background details of the case. It is much appreciated.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous said...

To my mind one and all must browse on it.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Bernd said...

interesting conversation indeed. good we know more about them now

1:25 AM  

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