10 June, 2008

More relevations about judiciary interference

High Court judge Ian Chin has sent shock waves through the legal fraternity when he exposed a litany of executive interferences dating back more than 10 years when hearing an election petition case in Sarawak yesterday.

- Malaysiakini

It is a shocking story of family members being placed under detention to lectures for selected judges in a boot camp. All in the words of Sibu based judge Datuk HC Ian Chin who has decided to speak up. He didn't name who was responsible but it was clear he meant Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Will there be more judges, in the wake of the VK Lingam case, who would come forward to speak up and share their confessions with Malaysians?

- Wong Chun Wai

High Court judge makes explosive judicial disclosures

Justice Datuk H C Ian Chin informed the parties in open court that he had certain disclosures to make at the start of the proceedings, saying he was doing so to forestall any complaints that might be made by the parties later.

Chin said the other was the judgement handed down on Feb 13 1997 in respect of an election petition (Donald Lawan v Abang Wahed bin Abang & Ors [Sri Aman High Court]) by which he set aside the election of Mong Dagang.

“Shortly after those two judgements, the Judges Conference was held from April 24 1997.

The then prime minister was scheduled to have a dialogue with the judges on that date. What was termed a dialogue and later reported as one was anything but a dialogue.

“The then prime minister went there to issue a thinly veiled threat to remove judges by referring to the tribunal that was set up before and stating that though it may be difficult to do so, it was still done. He said all that after he had expressed his unhappiness with what he termed ‘the Borneo Case’ and after he had asked whether the judge who decided that case was present or not.”

Chin said no one had any doubt that he was referring to the election case though he (then prime minister) did not mention it specifically which he decided on Feb 13, 1997.

Added the High Court judge: “After he was done with issuing that threat, he then proceeded to express his view that people should pay heavily for libel.

“He managed to get a single response from a Court of Appeal judge who asked whether he would be happy with a sum of RM1 million as damages for libel.

“He approved of it and he later on made known his satisfaction by promoting this judge (since deceased) to the Federal Court over many others who were senior to him when a vacancy arose.

“I was devastated after hearing all that but help came immediately after the “dialogue” was over when Federal Court judges came to my side and asked me to ignore him. Equally comforting were the words of my brother High Court judge who later told me that the then Prime Minister was too much.

“It will be recalled that the then prime minister not long after he assumed office had said, in a much publicised campaign against corruption, that he will put the fear of God in man but this apparently, given his diatribe in that conference, changed to instilling a fear of him if any judgment is to his dislike.”

Chin went on to say that to commemorate his “dialogue” with the judges a group picture was taken (which can be viewed by going to http://www.kkhighcourt.com/JudgesnMahathir.htm).

Read more here.

Read also: The Tun Salleh Saga - an open reply to Dr Mahathir



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