The Truth Revealed

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ambiga Up To Mischief Again

Ambiga Up To Mischief Again - The Report of the Panel of the So-called Eminent Persons To Review the 1988 Judicial Crisis In Malaysia: A Pathetic Attempt At Revisionism By A Panel of Kangaroos

Matthias Chang
Sunday, 31 August 2008 05:58


When I first read the report on page 22 of the New Straits Times on the 30th August 2008, with the face of Ambiga prominently displayed in the accompanying picture, my first reaction was, when will this woman stop making a fool of herself and her stupid theatrics!

I called a former President of the Bar Council and enquired whether he was aware of such a panel to review into the so-called judicial crisis. He replied that he came to know about the report just as I did, in the newspaper. Next, I called another senior member of the Bar who had intimate knowledge of the issues pertaining to the Tribunal and his response was the same – from reading the newspaper. He had no prior knowledge!

I stand to be corrected, but I am sure that the majority of the lawyers in Malaysia are unaware of this Panel of Eminent Persons.

Why the secrecy?

There seems to be a trend in organizing surprises.

First there was the dinner organized by the Bar Council, but paid for by the government. Not all lawyers were invited to the event. It was a pathetic attempt to boost Badawi’s image by the payment of some monies to the judges found guilty of misconduct. Zaid Ibrahim, the de facto Law Minister responsible for orchestrating the event with Ambiga, was found guilty of corruption (“Money Politics”) when contesting for a post in the ruling party. This first effort at revisionism backfired!

Just a few weeks ago, the War Criminal Blair was invited to speak on the Rule of Law by the University of Malaya as the guest speaker for the Sultan Azlan Shah Lectures. But surprisingly, the invitation cards, unlike previous years made no mention that the mass murderer was the guest speaker. Again, the conspirators were plotting in secret.

Now, we discover that the so-called eminent persons were appointed in 2007 unknown to the vast majority of the members of the Malaysian Bar. Why the secrecy? It is apparent that the Report was a rush job to achieve a certain agenda within a certain time-table. If the report was published as a diversion for Badawi after the humiliating defeat by the Opposition in the recently concluded by-election of Permatang Pauh, it will be a futile effort. The deep-seated anger against the Badawi regime is such that no amount of diversion will dampen the spirit of the rakyat against a corrupt regime.

Like The Thief In The Night

Before I proceed in exposing the sinister designs of this so-called Panel of Eminent Persons, I would like to issue a challenge to Mr. Verma to a public debate. In the event of his refusal, I will only be too happy to debate with Ambiga and her side-kicks in this sordid affair – Mah Weng Kwai, Richard Yeoh and Haji Sulaiman Abdullah – to a public debate entitled:

“Is the deliberation of the so-called Panel of Eminent Persons transparent and in accordance with the Rules of Natural Justice?”

They have a week to respond, and if they fail to do so, I shall call them hypocrites and cowards, and unfit to discharge their duties respectively as President, Malaysian Bar, President, Lawasia, Executive Director, Transparency International (Malaysia) and Representative, International Bar Association.

Why do I say that the conduct of the members of the panel is like the thief in the night in pursuit of a sinister venture?

Consider the following:

1) The Two Tribunals which investigated into the misconduct of Tun Salleh and five other judges were sanctioned by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in accordance with the Constitution and had the requisite jurisdiction and competence to adjudicate on the issues before them.

2) Tun Salleh and his Counsels refused to submit to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, one that was sanctioned by the Agong whom Tun Salleh professed his loyalty and obedience. The rationale for writing the offensive letter to the Agong was that he was appointed by the Agong. Yet, he refused to submit to the jurisdiction of the said tribunal.

In contrast:

1) As stated in page 3 of the Report, and following a lengthy Preamble,

“It is now decided that the Malaysian Bar Council, the International Bar Association, Lawasia and Transparency International-Malaysia do establish a Panel of Eminent Persons (the “Panel”) to study, investigate, review and report on:

a. the events leading up to and surrounding the appointment of the 1st and 2nd Tribunals;
b. the composition and deliberations of the 1st and 2nd Tribunals;
c. the findings of the 1st and 2nd Tribunals;
d. the effect that these events have had on the administration of justice in Malaysia; and
e. any other matters related or incidental to the above.”

It is so typical of Ambiga and her side-kicks that they have the audacity to arrogate to themselves the authority to challenge the findings of Tribunals duly authorized and convened pursuant to our Constitution and in full conformity with the request of the Agong who demanded that Tun Salleh be removed for misconduct!

Ambiga may suffer under the grand illusion that she, as President of the Malaysian Bar, is the Almighty but ordinary folks applying common sense know better and will see her for what she is – a mouth-piece for the Badawi regime.

It goes without saying that the members of the Panel suffer from the same disease of misplaced arrogance and conceit.

Mr. J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of India, is a disgrace to his profession for he was part of the political and judicial system that continue to oppress 90% of the population of India, the landless peasants who continue to live in squalor on less than US$1 a day.

The two Pakistani members of the Panel likewise have no standing whatsoever as they have condoned a political system in their country which is no more than a surrogate for the United States imperial agenda. Their country is a bloody mess and it would serve humanity better if they devote more efforts in liberating their fellow countrymen and women from the clutches of the US-financed fascist regime!

In so far as Gordon Hughes is concerned, when he has exhausted his efforts in bringing the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to the International Criminal Court to answer for war crimes charges, then and only then may he be considered worthy to adjudicate on other legal matters.

I have no wish to comment on the Malaysian members of the Panel. Suffice to say, they played no part at the material time when Tun Salleh was justly and correctly removed from office for gross judicial misconduct. They are now the champions for Tun Salleh. How convenient! Ambiga at the material was neither seen nor heard in the defence of Tun Salleh, if she was minded to do so.

These are the so-called “eminent persons” (two former Judges and four lawyers who are hardly known internationally) appointed by Ambiga to review the findings of the constitutionally appointed tribunals and duly sanctioned by the Agong. Ambiga must have been scrapping the bottom of the barrel!

Yet, they have the audacity to question the composition of the members of the two tribunals comprising of eminent judges. In the circumstances, I challenge the hypocrite Ambiga to name the judges of the two tribunals which in her conceited view, are incompetent to adjudicate on the issues before them and as authorized by the Agong in accordance with the express provisions of the Constitution.

The Panel held three meetings, one on the 21st-22nd September 2007 to finalise the Terms of Reference, the second on the 11th-12th April 2008 wherein “issues were discussed threadbare and relevant material scrutinized” and the third was to “finalise, sign and present” the report to the Joint Committee.

Arrogating power unto themselves, these “eminent persons” deliberated in secret, away from the glare of public scrutiny. Two days were sufficient to discuss the issues and relevant material.

This is transparency by the lofty standards of Transparency International!

This is in conformity with the Rules of Natural Justice by the standards of the Bar Council, Lawasia and the International Bar Association!

The Singular Failure Sufficient to Destroy the Validity of the Report

The members of the panel are lawyers by profession. One would expect that at the minimum, they would pretend to behave as one, for justice must not be only done, but seen to be done.

There are five Terms of Reference as stated in page 3 of the Report.

I need only draw the public’s attention to the Fourth Term of Reference to demolish the entire Report of the Panel and expose their dastardly deeds as a shameful attempt to subvert the findings of the two lawfully constituted tribunals which found Tun Salleh and two other judges guilty of judicial misconduct.

The Fourth Term of Reference provides:

“To adopt all necessary measures, including interviewing witnesses and other relevant persons, examining documents and seeking further information for the purposes of arriving at a proper conclusion.”

I have read the report several times, and I have yet to come across a page of the report where there are references to witnesses’ testimony.

The report contains several assumptions but no mention is made as to how these assumptions were made, whether from witnesses’ testimony or otherwise. Anyone reading the report would have no clue as to who assisted in the investigation and or the gathering of “further information”.

In fact, a large portion of the report seems to me to be a regurgitation of the self-serving book “May Day for Justice” written by Tun Salleh. Be that as it may, and if the Panel is indeed as TRANSPARENT as Transparency International projects itself to be, may we have answers to the following queries:

1) Were witnesses called to testify before the Panel?

2) If there were none, why not?

3) If yes, who were the witnesses?

4) Specifically, did Tun Salleh and or Datuk George Seah testify before the Panel?

5) Specifically, did Raja Aziz Addruse and or Param Cumarasamy testify before the Panel?

6) What further information and or materials were sought in relation to the review of the findings of the two tribunals?

7) Was the report drafted collectively by the members of the Panel?

8) If yes, who was the member who had the main responsibility for the first draft report?

9) Were any lawyers, not members of the Panel involved in the drafting of the report?

10) What was the basis for the finding in paragraph 2.5 of the report wherein it is stated: “It appears that this decision may have angered Dr. Mahathir …” Did the panel seek the views of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad when preparing the report? If not, why not? Why did they rely merely on a news report?

11) What was the basis for stating in paragraph 2.6 that “the remarks very likely were not well received by the executive”? Who in the executive were they referring to?

12) In paragraph 2.35, is the Panel accusing the Agong of mala fides?

13) Who provided the finance and amenities for the members of the Panel and were these finances duly authorized?

I have at least another 100 questions. But it will suffice for the Panel to answer the above questions.

If the above queries are sufficient to indicate that the Panel was conducting its proceedings in contravention of its own terms of reference, and rushing to submit the report to the Joint Committee before the 20th Anniversary (see paragraph 1.2 of the Introduction to the report at page 4) then my case is established that the Panel is nothing but a Kangaroo Court, convened by Ambiga and her side-kicks to serve the political agenda of the Badawi regime.

Additionally, in paragraphs 2.50 to 2.52, the Panel expressly acknowledged that pursuant to the advice of the Conference of Rulers, Tun Salleh had in fact agreed to apologise to the Agong for his misconduct, and did proceed to meet the Agong in Johor on the 27th June 1988. However, the Agong refused to accept the apology and maintained his demand that the Tribunal proceed to investigate into the matter.

The fact that Tun Salleh was willing to apologise is sufficient to dispose and bury forever the misplaced notion that Tun Salleh was innocent of the charges!

Food For Thought

Why would Ambiga, who is a vociferous opponent of the Shariah law and who has forcefully denied the reality that for all intent and purposes Malaysia is an Islamic state (inter-alia by reason that Malaysia is a member of the O.I.C.), support Tun Salleh at this juncture when as Lord President, Tun Salleh had confessed in a speech that while our civil law is based on English Common Law, he said that:

“In this situation, not only is the judiciary bound by Islamic law as propounded by jurisconsult (Muftis who give legal rulings on particular matters), but Parliament and the Executive too are certainly bound by these rulings …”

No responsible government can allow the postulation of such views by the Head of the Judiciary without causing fear and consternation among its non-Muslim population. This was in fact one of the charges against Tun Salleh for which Tun Salleh has refused to rebut.

To avoid any misunderstanding, I have no objections to Shariah law, if that is the wish of the people, but for Ambiga to conduct and portray herself in the way that she has been doing is sheer hypocrisy!

Ambiga is up to mischief again!
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