Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bar Council: Get to the bottom of shocking disclosures

The Star : Wednesday June 11, 2008


PETALING JAYA: A Royal Commission of Inquiry should be set up to investigate into revelations by Sibu High Court Judge Datuk H. C. Ian Chin on “threats from the then prime minister”, Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan said.

“The allegation and other disclosures he made must be comprehensively looked into not only by the Chief Justice but also by all relevant parties,” she said.
Present and former judges should come forward with information of similar interference, she said.

Ambiga was reacting to Justice Chin who alleged the prime minister threatened him over two judgements he made in 1997.

He also said he was packed off to a boot camp from May 26 to May 30 that year together with selected judges and judicial officers. Ambiga said allegations about the “boot camp” was shocking and should be investigated.

Referring to Justice Chin's statement that he was informed by former High Court Judge Muhammad Kamil Awang that he had received a telephone call from the then Chief Justice asking him to dismiss an election petition in 2001 for the Likas by-elections, Ambiga said:

“This corroborates a similar disclosure made by Muhammad Kamil himself in his judgment on that election petition, namely in the case of Harris Mohd Salleh vs The Returning Officer, Ismail Majin & Ors [2001] 3 CLJ 161.”

In the case, the judge had said: “The only guide to a man is his conscience, the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and the sincerity of his action.

“In my view, it is an insult to one’s intelligence to be given a directive over the phone that these petitions should be struck off without a hearing, and above all, it is with prescience conscience that I heard these petitions.’’

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