Royal Commission: Appoint upright individuals

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Aliran
welcomes the government’s decision to appoint a Royal Commission of
Inquiry following the disturbing disclosures in the Lingam tape. What
Malaysians witnessed through the tape revealed the rot in the
judiciary, which many Malaysians had suspected all along. Their
suspicions have now been removed and we are now convinced that the
rot has pervaded the judiciary through the manipulation of unethical
judges to do the bidding of the authorities.

The
rot started in 1988, when then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad took on
the judiciary and made mincemeat of it. Judges who had taken the oath
of office vowing to uphold justice and the Malaysian Constitution and
who occupied important positions in the judiciary betrayed that oath
and cooperated with the executive to emasculate the once respected
judiciary for selfish ends.

This
Royal Commission must not show any mercy to these sinister
characters. They must be pin-pointed and removed from their positions
of privilege and exposed for what they are: unethical and unbecoming
individuals who have disgraced and denigrated the judiciary without
any conscience.

To
cleanse the judiciary it is of vital importance that respected and
upright individuals of impeccable character should be appointed as
members of this Commission. Under no circumstances should judges who
have been tainted and stigmatised by the erosion of the judiciary
through their unbecoming conduct be considered for appointment.

This
is why Aliran supports and endorses the list of judges highlighted
by Hakam in their media statement on 21 November 2007 as undeserving
for appointment as Commissioners. We appeal to the government to
seriously heed this request so that the Royal Commission of Inquiry
would have the undivided support of the nation.

READ MORE:  Set up royal commission of inquiry into judiciary without further delay

Hakam
has disqualified the following individuals:

  • Any
    Chief Justice who served after the sacking of Tun Salleh Abas,
    starting from Tun Abdul Hamid onwards;

  • Retired
    judges (or any judge still in service) who had served Tun Eusoff
    Chin, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin and Tun Ahmad Fairuz;

  • Any
    person closely connected with the government and/or who served the
    Mahathir administration and/or who served (or still serves) the
    Badawi administration. This would include former Attorney Generals;
    and/or

  • Any person
    who might be perceived to have grievances against the government
    and/or the judicial administration in the period from 1988. This
    would include Tun Salleh Abbas and any of the members of the
    Judiciary penalised in the 1988 attack on the Judiciary.

In Aliran’s
view, this is a fair stand to take so that the findings of the
Commission will have the credibility and enjoy the confidence of the
people at large.

 

P Ramakrishnan

President

24 November
2007

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