If it is true that there was a devious plot to promote certain judges to secure favourable judgments in favour of the BN government and that there is evidence now to support this allegation, it demands the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry immediately.
The rot in the judiciary must be addressed urgently and as a matter of priority. All judges who have been appointed and promoted through the alleged conspiracy of the executive with individuals and judges – thus bypassing all those deserving such promotions – must be purged to save the judiciary from the clutches of the executive. Justice has been subverted by these tainted appointments.
These judges must be deemed as co-plotters in this nefarious scheme, which has destroyed the system of justice that was once held in high esteem internationally prior to the shameful assault on the judiciary in 1988. Since then, the judiciary has been sliding into a rut and is now deemed to be an institution without a soul or honour. It has sunk so low that it has reached rock bottom and it has lost the respect of well-meaning Malaysians who are appalled at the state of the judiciary.
Though the judges take the oath of office to uphold the Federal Constitution, they have been found to be grossly wanting in the judgments they deliver – and the written judgments they fail to deliver. There are judges who apparently cannot uphold the supreme law of the Constitution but choose to deliver their judgments, unfortunately, according to their religious belief as was clearly demonstrated in recent cases involving non-Muslims whose spouses had converted.
The judiciary no longer commands the confidence of the public at large simply because of questionable appointments and promotions of certain judges deemed to be without merit and seen to serve a certain purpose. Some of the judges implicated in the video clip appear to be not beholden to Truth and Justice but apparently appear to be slaves to do the bidding of the Executive. The video clip also revealed that the Chief Justice was apparently associated with certain prominent political and business figures. This is truly tragic.
Aliran demands that the Chief Justice be immediately suspended so that an Independent Commission of Inquiry can get to the bottom of the truth without any interference or sabotage. This first step is of vital importance.
Further, we demand that there should be an earnest judicial review for the following:
1. All judgments involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s court cases;
2. The farcical sodomy conviction cases of Sukma and Dr Munawar Anees;
3. The sacking of Tun Salleh Abas, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Seah;
4. The elevation of Tan Sri Moktar Abdullah to the Federal Court some three weeks after his retirement from his office as the Attorney-General;
5. The Ayer Molek case;
6. The Metramac case;
7. All high profile cases in which these judges sat after leap-frogging over more senior and deserving judges still in service;
8. Justice Idid’s letter which condemned and implicated 12 judges by citing 112 serious allegations of corruption and malpractice;
9. Reporter Raphael Pura’s allegation that lawyer V.K. Lingam had written parts of the judgments of a judge in his defamation case;
10. The case of certain judges holidaying overseas with lawyer V.K. Lingam.
All these cases only confirmed that the ugly hands of politics were pervasive in our system of justice which was manipulated as a political tool. Many of these appointments and promotions seem to suggest a political reward. Many perceive this as scandalous and unbecoming conduct raising serious questions of ethics and integrity.
The controversy that we are embroiled in is a serious one that has completely undermined people’s confidence in our system of justice and tarnished the image of the judiciary irreparably.
Any delay in addressing this issue will make a mockery of justice and turn Malaysia into a laughing-stock.
20 September 2007