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‘Dr M threatened judges…’ Judge’s stunning allegation in court

12 June, 2008


Below are some interesting points about the stunning allegation by the said judge:-

SIBU: A High Court judge here has alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad threatened to punish the judiciary in 1997 for decisions he disliked.

….He referred to two cases he had presided over in February 1997 – a libel suit and an election petition – the decisions with which the then prime minister was apparently displeased, he said.

He said Dr Mahathir had gone to the judges’ conference about a month later “to issue a thinly veiled threat to remove judges by referring to the tribunal that was set up before”.

From May 26 until 30, he was “packed off to boot camp” for lessons on taking the government line in judicial decisions…..

……According to the notes of proceedings made available to the New Straits Times, Chin said in the libel suit: “I distinguished M.G.G. Pillai v Tan Sri Datuk Vincent Tan Chee Yioun & Other Appeals (1995) 2 MLJ 493 and refused to give what I consider to be an astronomical award for damage to reputation in libel cases”.

In the election petition, he had set aside the victory of BN’s Mong Dagang in the 1996 state polls in the Bukit Begunan seat.

Chin said Dr Mahathir had “expressed unhappiness” over the decision.

“After he was done with issuing that threat, he then proceeded to express his view that people should pay heavily for libel.

“He managed to get a single response from a Court of Appeal judge who asked whether he would be happy with a sum of RM1 million as damages for libel.

“He approved of it and he later on made known his satisfaction by promoting this judge (since deceased) to the Federal Court over many others who were senior to him when a vacancy arose.”

Chin said he was “devastated” by what went on but was consoled by fellow judges who remarked “the prime minister was too much”.

“It will be recalled that the prime minister not long after he assumed office had said, in a much publicised campaign against corruption, that he will put the fear of God in man but this apparently, given his diatribe in that conference, changed to instilling a fear of him if any judgment is to his dislike.”

He said the “boot camp” he attended with selected judges and judicial officers was “an attempt to indoctrinate those attending to hold the view that the government’s interest” was “more important than all else when we are considering our judgments”.

“Stating this devilish notion was no less a person than the president of the Court of Appeal,” he said.

“The perversion of justice did not stop there. My brother judge (Datuk Muhammad) Kamil Awang was one morning looking for me after clocking in. We were both then serving in Kuching.

“When I met him in his chambers, he was distraught and he told me about receiving a telephone call the night before from the chief justice asking him to dismiss the election petition that he was going to hear in Kota Kinabalu.

“He sought my opinion as to what to do about the telephone call…….

So what have you got to say about this great Mahathir.

Gradually things are surfacing and exposing bit by bit of

his autocratic and dictatorial nature of his leadership

during his tenor of premiership.

Do you think he should get away with it? Has he got that

immunity of law?

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