Thursday, October 9, 2008

ZAID IBRAHIM THE DE FACTO MINISTER OF JUSTICE


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on October 8, 2008 3:54 PM

1. I was told members of the Cabinet were very upset when Zaid Ibrahim was appointed as Minister. It was known to everyone that Zaid helped PAS to defeat the BN candidate for Kota Baru. He was sore because he did not succeed to become division head of Kota Baru and he was not chosen as BN candidate for that constituency despite being the head of a legal firm of a hundred lawyers and being also well-heeled. During the elections he was in Perth, Australia.

2. The startled party and party officials suddenly found Zaid appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department responsible for law. They were puzzled by Abdullah's choice. But then it is not so unexpected after all because he appointed another campaigner for PAS as Deputy Minister, and a man with dubious past as Senator and Minister.

3. The moment Zaid was appointed he went to town. Apparently without bothering to consult the Cabinet or the Prime Minister he publicly proposed so-called legal and judicial reforms. He proposed that judges should be appointed by a panel on which sit several members of the Bar Council. He did not think it odd that members of the bar would in the course of their work be facing the judges they appointed. I suppose he thinks that it will be alright because gratefulness is not a Malaysian value.

4. It would seem that his Cabinet colleagues were not happy with his proposal as well as his failure to inform the Cabinet about this major change. Since it is the Agong who will appoint the judges his idea might not be welcome by the Agong or the Rulers' Council.

5. In the past if the candidate was rejected by the Agong only the Prime Minister would know about it. But with Zaid's proposal rejection by the Agong can result in a public scandal.

6. The Bar Council would want to know why. If the explanation is not forthcoming then the Bar will organise a forum to debate whether their candidate can be rejected by whomever. The findings of such a debate would show that no one, absolutely no one can reject the Bar with impunity.

7. Zaid also resurrected the case of Tun Salleh Abbas. The Government then decided to award ex-gratia payments to the "unfortunate" judges although all the judges were being paid two pensions and one at least was being paid three pensions. They were obviously not starving.

8. True to the Government record of being open and transparent the amount paid is not revealed. I wonder whether the money came from Zaid's pocket or from the taxes paid by the rakyat.

9. Now of course Zaid has resigned and is aligned with the opposition over the detention under the ISA of Teresa Kok.

10. People accuse me of making wrong choices but in the case of Zaid it looks like the current PM has inherited my weakness.

11. One can afford to have principles when one is rich and does not have to depend on the small allowance of a Minister.

12. My deep respect for this one Minister who seem unconcerned about his allowances.

13. Incidentally former Minister, Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir also resigned but he did not have a very big and profitable law practice.