BAR COUNCIL Refutes Haidar Claims “No Body has come forward”; Request for a meeting - todate NO REPLY; Bar Council & Ailiran Say No to Extension
And today the Bar Council bares all and said that it had requested for a meeting with the panel on Oct 10 in a letter dated Oct 8 07. The Secretariat through its DG reply on Oct 10 07 that ”he had been directed by the Chairman” of the Independent Panel To Verify The Authenticity Of The Video Clip, Tan Sri Haidar Mohamad Noor that the Council should first state the issues to be discussed. of the Independent Panel To Verify The Authenticity Of The Video Clip, Tan Sri Haidar Mohamad Noor that the Council should first state the issues to be discussed The Bar Council replied stating the reason on Oct 12 07 and no reply thereafter
Details & documents can be seen H E R E
So did the Panel Chairman Tan Sri Haidar directed the DG to reply or completely clueless to the correspondence. Is the DG pulling all the strings in this so called investigation on the authenticity of the Video Clip and we have the “independent puppets” in the Panel? Is this the way an independent panel operates. Also in the Bar Council's Memo, it was raised if the disclosure to ACA can be revealed to a 3rd party under Section 21(4) of the ACA act 1997. (see below)
and its conclusion
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Panel under fire for postponing meeting Soon Li Tsin | Oct 17, 07 2:02pm and the latest breaking news Ex-ISA detainee Abdul Malek Hussin today won his legal suit against the government over his arrest and torture in 1998.
Malek gets RM2.5 million for ISA arrest Oct 18, 07 12:29pm
Panel wants to know first the issues to be raised by the Bar Council before deciding whether to meet
The Panel KUALA LUMPUR, Thurs: In a letter dated October 10, in reply to Bar Council’s letter of October 8, the Director-General of the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdullah Sani bin Abdul Hamid, informed the Bar Council that he had been directed by the Chairman of the Independent Panel To Verify The Authenticity Of The Video Clip, Tan Sri Haidar Mohamad Noor that the Council should first state the issues to be discussed before members of the Panel would make a decision whether to meet the Bar Council. Abdullah Sani also requested that all these issues to be presented to his Division for onward transmission to the Panel.
Earlier, the Chairman of Bar Council, Ambiga Sreenevasan had written to the Panel requesting for a meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 10.
On October 12, the Bar Council then forwarded a memorandum listing down the issues which the Council would like to bring to the attention of the Panel. Todate, the Council has yet to receive a reply from the Panel.
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Panel fails to get a single report after three weeks; By CECIL FUNG, STAR
“I take it that nobody has come forward. If anybody had come forward, I’m sure the secretariat would have alerted me,” he told The Star. The panel was set up on Sept 27 after the video clip was made public on Sept 19. The 30-working day deadline given by the Government to investigate the video clip’s authenticity and submit a report ends on Nov 8. Haidar said the Anti-Corruption Agency would be meeting the panel later this month for the ACA to give its report on the authenticity of the video clip. This meeting, he said, was initially scheduled for yesterday but as the ACA was not ready, it was rescheduled to Oct 29 to give the agency’s experts more time to study the video. The former Chief Judge of
“People have the impression that we just swallow whatever that is given to us. “I can’t pre-empt what’s going to happen. Let’s see first whether we are happy or not (with the ACA’s findings). “Let’s go step by step,” he said, adding that the panel would only be able to decide on its next course of action after the meeting with the ACA. He said the panel, which also includes former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mahadev Shanker and National Service Council chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, might seek a third party’s opinion. In a statement, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang lamented that the panel had not made any progress after three weeks. He called on the panel members to resign and for a royal commission of inquiry be set up instead.
So far, the ACA has recorded statements from several people, including a prominent lawyer, a business tycoon and Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah and Anwar’s personal assistant Sim Tze Tzin, who lodged a report with the ACA on the matter, are standing firm by their decision not to disclose the identity of the source of the video clip. The video clip is 14 minutes and 16 seconds long but PKR edited it to 8 minutes and 26 seconds before releasing it, to protect the identity of the source. The ACA issued a statement saying the video clip supplied to the agency was not the original copy. The agency urged anyone with an original copy to hand it over to facilitate investigations.
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Press Statement: Interest of the institution of judiciary is best served by refusing the extension
Contributed by Ambiga Sreenevasan
The Bar Council notes the statement of the Minister published in the New Straits Times that the King must act on the advice of the Prime Minister in relation to the extension of the current Chief Justice. This is the first time such an issue in relation to extension sought under Article 125 has arisen. The Article provides that the extension of a Judge of the Federal Court may be given "as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve". The argument appears to be that this nevertheless requires the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to
act on the advice of the Prime Minister in accordance with the scheme under the Constitution in relation to the appointments and promotions of Judges under Article 122B. If that be the case, it would also require consultation with the Conference of Rulers to provide the necessary checks and balances and to preserve the core value of the independence of the Judiciary from the Executive. Whatever the interpretation, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is not precluded from proferring a view nor from asking for information under Article 40. It is however unnecessary to enter into this constitutional debate at this stage. There is a much larger issue at stake. Whenever there is any hint of a scandal that cannot be dismissed as frivolous (as with the video clip incident), involving an institution of high value such as the Judiciary, and given the nature of the allegations
and the importance of the position held, it is necessary to take such steps as would best serve the public interest and the interest of that institution. The overriding principle is that, even though a finding has yet to be made in this regard, and we are mindful that it has not been, it is crucial to act in the higher interests of this critical institution, so that
the "streams of justice" are kept pure, and public confidence in the institution is restored or maintained. Nothing is more important. Therefore in the case of any doubt or reservation, the course that best serves the institution and the public must be taken. In these circumstances, the best interests of the institution and of the public clearly invite a withdrawal or, failing this, a refusal of the application for extension.
Ambiga Sreenevasan; President; Malaysian Bar____
Chief Justice must go - and go now;
It would upset and disappoint Malaysians terribly if the tenure of the current Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, were to be extended. It would seriously undermine the confidence of the people in the judiciary to a point of no return. The judiciary is already in a shambles and there is no need to degrade it further by extending the tenure of the Chief Justice of the Federal Court.
On behalf of all Malaysians, Aliran would like to politely and humbly appeal to His Majesty, the Yang diPertuan Agong, to reject Ahmad Fairuz's application to His Majesty for a six-month extension of tenure. Article 125(1) states: Subject to the provisions of Clauses (2) to (5), a judge of the Federal Court shall hold office until he attains the age of sixty-six years or such later time, not being later than six months after he attains that age, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve. In this extension of tenure of office, the Prime Minister does not seem to have any role to play. It would appear that His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, solely decides on this matter. It is the absolute discretion of His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. By now it is very clear that it is the collective view of all thinking Malaysians that Ahmad Fairuz does not deserve to be in office even a minute
longer. He must go - and go in the soonest time frame that is possible. After the disgraceful Lingam tape, it is only morally correct that he should not be around to denigrate an institution that is the custodian of justice. It is as simple as that. Ahmad Fairuz has not openly and publicly denied that he is the person on the other end of the telephone conversation. He has not said any thing to dispel all the rumours that link him to various episodes in the promotion and elevation of judges. Neither is he spared from the negative and speculative judgments that he has been associated with. How could such a person who has miserably failed to put the record straight be considered for an extension of tenure of office? We are not persuaded by Datuk Seri Nazri's claim, according to the NST of today, that "the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has to act on the advice of the prime minister on extending the tenure of the chief justice", who is due to retire
at the end of the month. He further reiterates that the "king as a constitutional monarch was bound by the prime minister's advice in the appointment and promotion of judicial officers. This includes whether to extend by six months the tenure of the chief justice after he attains the compulsory retirement age of 66". Nazri seems to conveniently forget that in the appointment and promotion of judicial officers, His Majesty is required to act "after consulting the Conference of Rulers". "After consulting the Conference of Rulers" does not seem to suggest that it is purely an academic exercise. It is more than that. There has to be deliberation to arrive at a collective decision – no matter what Nazri may insist. There are others in the legal circle who do not share Nazri's interpretation of the Federal Constitution. Under the Federal Constitution, when it comes to "tendering his advice as to
the appointment of a judge", the Prime Minister does not simply pluck out a name for consideration out of thin air. He "shall consult" the respectiveheads of the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court before submitting the names to His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Just as in this case, "shall consult" does not mean a meaningless chat with the respective heads but refers to a constructive discussion and recommendation, this same process applies when His Majesty consults the Conference of Rulers. Aliran would like to advise Nazri not to confuse the public with his one-sided interpretation of the Federal Constitution. P Ramakrishnan; President
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Nazri: King must act on PM's advice
KUALA LUMPUR: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has to act on the advice of the prime minister on extending the tenure of the chief justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, who is due to retire at the end of the month, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said. The minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the king, as a constitutional monarch, was bound by the prime minister's advice in the appointment and promotion of judicial officers. "This includes whether to extend by six months the tenure of the chief
justice after he attains the compulsory retirement age of 66," he said. Nazri said he was merely clarifying the position of the king as provided in the Federal Constitution on the question of whether Ahmad Fairuz's term would be extended or a new chief justice would be appointed next month. "Only the prime minister is in the capacity to know about it because he does not delegate the matter to me." Ahmad Fairuz, who has been chief justice since 2003, will turn 66 on Nov 1, the compulsory retirement age for judges. He applied to the king in July for a six-month extension but with two more weeks to go before his retirement, Ahmad Fairuz has not received an official letter to allow him to remain in office. Meanwhile, the Conference of Rulers, which endorses the appointments and promotions of judges, will meet for two days from Oct 31. It is not immediately known whether the chief justice's position is among the topics for discussion at the meeting. Under the Constitution, the prime minister need not consult the incumbent chief justice on who should fill the post when he forwards a name to the Conference of Rulers. By convention, the Court of Appeal president, the judiciary's number two, will be elevated to the post. The Court of Appeal president is Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamed, 65, who assumed the position on Sept 5.
On Oct 8, Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan called on the authoritiesto fill the top position in the judiciary in view of Ahmad Fairuz's retirement at the end of the month. She said the appointment must be made immediately to avoid the post of chief justice being left vacant for any length of time.