Wednesday, September 3, 2008

THE SO-CALLED EMINENT PERSONS PANEL


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on September 2, 2008 3:55 PM

1. Suddenly, in the aftermath of the disastrous Permatang Pauh by-election an announcement was made that a panel of retired judges from India and Pakistan and lawyers from Australia and Malaysia had been set up to review the 1988 judicial crisis in Malaysia.

2. The Panel was set up in August 2007. Yet until now there had been no news about it and its work. Now we are given its report mainly to blame me for what it termed Malaysian Judicial Crisis and the removal of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President of the Malaysian Courts in 1988.

3. This is a new idea by the Bar Council to invalidate the findings of the Tribunals set up according to the Constitution of Malaysia, the Supreme Law of Malaysia. It is a negatioJustify Fulln of the rule of law and a slap in the face for the Malaysian King, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

4. It was the Agong who complained against Tun Salleh for writing two letters, one to complain about the noise made in repairing the Agong's residence and one alleging that the then Prime Minister was undermining the independence of the judiciary. Both letters were extended to all the Rulers which the Agong regarded as putting pressure on him. He found the letters offensive and against the Malay custom in which the customary thing to do was to have an audience with his Majesty and to make verbal complaints. The letters could follow but should be to him alone. He then requested me as PM to remove Tun Salleh as Lord President.

5. In keeping with the provisions of the Constitution a Tribunal was set up. But Tun Salleh tried to stop the Tribunal from doing its work and reporting to the King.

6. Now the Bar Council is resorting to extra-legal means to vilify me. If it can set up panels to nullify the findings of a properly constituted Tribunal then everyone should have a right to set up panels to negate the findings of the Malaysian courts, Tribunals and Commissions. There is no need to appeal to the higher courts set up for the purpose of hearing appeals against the decisions of lower courts. It should be noted that Tun Salleh had not resorted to the courts over the findings of the Tribunal.

7. Is this what we call the rule of law which the Bar is said to advocate? If you cannot get the judgment you want in a proper court, then set up your own court and get the decision you want. But do it quietly in case the decision, despite your choice of panel members, did not decide in your favour. The whole thing stinks of political skulduggery - an attempt to get at someone and to seek revenge for some imagined wrong done in my past.

8. There seems to be a pattern here. First we have a Royal Commission set up to find that I had been influenced in my choice of judges. Then we have Justice Chin, secure in his court accusing me of threatening to sack judges. And now this private and mysterious court to blame me for the "Judicial Crisis" of 1988.

9. I wonder what else will be coming. The President of the Bar Council is very pally with the de-facto Law Minister and the Prime Minister. Even the dinner given by the Bar is paid by the Government.

10. If by these vilifications they think I would stop criticising this corrupt government and its allies then they are wrong. I am not intimidated.

11. As a matter of curiosity, perhaps the Bar Council would like to enlighten the public regarding the cost of the panel, who paid for it and how much did each member get? Or is this another secret of a secretive Bar and its shenanigans.