Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Judge bitter because he wasn’t promoted

Dr M’s ex-aide: Judge bitter because he wasn’t promoted

Andrew Ong Malaysiakini : Jun 13, 08 2:10pm

Sabah and Sarawak High Court judge Ian Chin made a damning allegations of judges being threatened and sent to an ‘indoctrination boot camp’ because he was not promoted, claimed lawyer Matthias Chang.

Chang, a former political secretary to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said that Justice Chin was “angry” because he was not promoted as Chief Judge of Sarawak and Sabah.

“He cannot understand why Richard Malanjun was promoted to the post instead. He blames the former prime minister but he care not to examine his infantile behaviour,” Chang said in a statement distributed at a press conference at his office in Kuala Lumpur today.

Before hearing the Sarikei election petition on Monday, Chin told both parties that Mahathir issued “thinly veiled threats” during the Judges Conference in 1997 to remove judges through a tribunal.

Chin claimed that a month later, together with selected judges and judicial officers, he was packed off to a ‘boot camp’ and was indoctrinated with the view that “the government’s interest was more important than all else”.

Chang dismissed Chin’s claims that Mahathir had threatened the judges in the 1997 conference by citing two judges quoted by New Straits Times on Wednesday.In the report, former Court of Appeal judge Shaik Daud Mohad Ismail had expressed shock at Chin’s claims and not remembering Mahathir issuing any threats.

Similarly, an anonymous serving judge quoted by NST said that Chin may have “took the opportunity to speak from the Bench because he thought Mahathir was responsible for blocking his promotion”.

In response, Chang said that the statements from the two judges had showed that Chin was making “wild allegations” against Mahathir.

“At least two judges have contradicted the veracity of (Chin’s) statement. There must be an investigation against him on whether the veracity of his statement against Mahathir is founded,” said Chang.

He also slammed de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim who was quoted as saying that he had no reasons to doubt Chin’s claims despite the reports quoting the two judges.

Chang also questioned the timing of Chin’s revelation and why the latter complained of Mahathir’s alleged threats with the proper authorities.

“How can he expect the ordinary man to report against corruption when he does not dare to stand up and report to the Chief Justice?” he added.

Chang then challenged Chin to a public debate on the latter’s clams. “And I challenge him to hold me in contempt of his court in making this challenge,” he said.
Chang also took serving Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad to task for failing to “clear all doubts” about what actually happened in the 1997 conference.

“Those in the know (and attended the conference) should come out and clear the air,” he added.

He added that the Abdul Hamid should also initiate investigations into Chin’s allegations.

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