Friday, March 28, 2008

Dr M: Ask the tribunal to apologise

Mar 28, 08 1:36pm
“Ask the tribunal to apologise.”

This was the direct retort of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to calls for him to apologise for the ‘wrongs’ surrounding the 1988 judicial crisis.

In remarks written by him which was published today by English daily The Sun, Mahathir said the dismissal of former Lord President Mohd Salleh Abbas and Supreme Court judges Wan Sulaiman Pawanteh and George Seah were not his doing.

He, therefore, feels no obligation to apologise.

If any party were to apologise, it should be the members of the tribunal led by Hamid Omar which sacked Salleh, said Mahathir.

Mahathir also said he was open to the authorities investigating his person for any “misdeeds” during his 22 years as Prime Minister.

“Unless there is a frame-up, I think there should be nothing to pin on me,” he said.

Moving on to the suggestion by DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh that he apologise for the 1988 debacle - which many regard as ‘the darkest moment’ for the judiciary - Mahathir said on this point his conscience was clear.

“Even other accusations against me, including the dismissal of judges, were not my doing and I do not feel obliged to apologise. Ask the tribunal to apologise,” he said.

Being more correct than correct

Taking a potshot at Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Zaid Ibrahim - who had asked for the government to apologise for the sacking and suspension of the five judges - Mahathir said the lawyer had “forgotten” that he had supported the then-government for its actions.

“The person asking that the government should apologise for what happened to Tun Salleh Abbas may have forgotten that as President of the Muslim Lawyers Association, he fully supported the action that was taken,” said Mahathir.

“He castigated the Bar Council for condemning Tun Hamid Omar over the dismissal of judges. Now he wants to be more correct than correct. I wonder why,” he added.

In 1988, Mahathir had convened the special tribunal to try Salleh on charges of misconduct and for questioning constitutional amendments that seriously eroded the powers of the judiciary.

Supreme Court judges George Seah and Wan Sulaiman - who had ruled that the tribunal was convened unconstitutionally - were also sacked after being found guilty of misconduct by another tribunal.

Three other judges - Azmi Kamaruddin, Eusoffe Abdoolcader and Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh were suspended.

Probe misconduct in Terengganu

In his article, Mahathir also suggested investigations - preferably by “credible foreign agencies” - should be conducted to look into allegations that abuse of power and misconduct had led the Teregganu royal palace to reject Barisan Nasional’s (BN) initial choice for menteri besar (MB).

According to him, rumour has it that various “unnecessary and wasteful” state projects worth billions of ringgit had been contracted to outsiders behind whom are members of ‘the first family’.

It was also alleged that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had “influenced” former MB Idris Jusoh who was responsible for such a state of affairs and from which he had “benefitted financially”, said Mahathir.

“These are all rumours. It will be quite impossible to prove anything as the perpetrators are skilled in hiding themselves,”he said.

He also said that the public was “leery” of investigations by government agencies and departments.

“The people believe, not true of course, that the government has been interfering with the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), the Police and the Attorney General (A-G)'s Chambers. The say this is borne out by the results of investigations by these agencies,” he said.

As such, the job should be left to foreign experts to look into the matter, he added.

“The public cannot be blamed for not having faith in government agencies doing investigations. The public cannot be blamed for suspecting cover-ups by the government or worse still the government may be using these enforcement agencies to threaten people,” he said.

“To clear its good name, the government should get credible foreign agencies to do the investigation. Of course, they must be given full access to the documents etc,” he added.

1 comment:

WAN-BOSTON said...

Let history judge Dr M. To me, it's time to write him off from our book! Like it or not, he is just another smart, witty and crooked politician. Yes, he once had the power to rule and abuse the rule of laws in our country. I hope just historians document those. No doubt he has modernized Malaysia a lots, but at what cost? If you're so proud about the twin towers, please look at your kampong if you're a kampong boy! If you're not, you probably belong to one of middle income folks in the city. Alas, you guys are so small in numbers anyway! You probaby live with your parents or rent a pigeon hole in the city. How many of you has your name to your present dwelling? If you work in the city now and don't have parents in the city, you probably pay the rent which costs you arms and legs too. Wonder how much will it cost you to own a four wheel milo tin? Forget about owning a house in the city now! What else? Highways? Hmm..Do you know that Malaysia has the most expensive highways in the world in terms of toll rates and construction cost per mile! Halim Saad and his cronies at UEM can confirm you that! Also, look at our highways and developments in KL. I am not surprised if our grand kids will piss on our grave yards some day. So, that is what you get with a short-sighted modernization. Eventually the gap between the rich and the poor will be so wide that only God can save us all! Think about it.


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