A Judicial Commission is necessary to prevent abuse

I read with interest our former PM Tun Dr Mahathir’s testimony at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam Tape, as reported in Malaysiakini yesterday under the headline: Dr M: I don’t have to explain why .

I have to agree that Dr Mahathir was right, under the present system where the PM is entrusted to appoint judges, in saying that appointment of judges, including that of the Chief Justice, is his sole prerogative and he does not have to give reason for accepting or rejecting recommendations from the Chief Justice.

What is wrong is the whole system of appointment. How can a person from the executive branch decide the appointment of top people of another branch, the judiciary, when all the three branches of government are supposedly independent from each other? How to stop any abuse of power when one person is given so much of power?

Remember the saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. When the system is like this, how can anyone say the former PM is wrong to be lobbied by interested people?

This system , where one person decides everything – of course, still subjecting to the consent of the Agong, theoretically – must be reviewed and changed.

It is clear that the rot in judiciary is because this branch of government is now subjected to the influence of the executive branch , by virtue of the executive branch having all the powers to appoint and promote officers within the judiciary.

It is human nature, and judges are no exception, for a person to  feel grateful and submit to those who appoint and promote him. It will be natural for that person to oblige the request of the top  person who promoted or appointed him.

SO , the most important first step in the revival of the good name of the judiciary will be to set up a Judicial Commission to decide the promotion and appointment of judges.

This commission should be  made up of respected  retired judges,  public notaries and representatives from the Bar. WHile the CHief Justice can still make recommendations, the final decision of appointments and promotion of judges and judicial officers must be made by this commission.

In this way, such promotions and appointments can be made more transparent , and those appointees will then not feel obliged to any single person.

Only then can our judges be totally independent and totally free to make judgement solely on the merits of a case, and not on any personal ties or relationship.

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Malayamuda
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 13:22:05

    see how everyone washes their hands off from Lingam.

    Finally Lingam will realise that he is alone in all this.

    He will be standing out there naked in the cold, all alone………. look all around him and there will be no one, including his best buddies Mahathir and Eusoff.

    Lingam, wake up, this is the real world

    Like

  2. yh
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 14:13:41

    what goes around wil come around. karma is never too far away. if thats what lingam sows, he reaps whats deserved.

    Like

  3. ultraman
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 15:47:28

    “The former top judge responded repeatedly that he had met Lingam and his family by chance during the holiday and that Lingam had wanted to tag along”

    Aiyo, I have been travelling for overseas holidays quite often and so far I have not met any of my friends by chance on the same flight.
    If there is any mathematician out there, they will tell you how remote it would be for two persons to travel on the same flight itineray what more with domestic flight all the same.

    Like

  4. frmad
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 17:41:42

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    Like

  5. monsterball
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 18:38:10

    His selective lost of memory and arrogant replies is showing he has full confident not to be proven guilty…by another “kangaroo” court{I hope not!}….regardless whatever labels you put it…..Royal or just plain court.
    One should have follow up and force him to a give better answer…but as it went on…those guys just keep accepting his reply….and stop there. But in real court with no feelings..the art to get the suspect to give a better answer will be applied.
    Mahathir is known to be easily upset and irritated…..if certain art of questioning are applied. Everyone knows his borak and dictatorial character….yet no one apply to irritate him with a follow up question…..as if araid of him.
    Mahathir seems to think he has this or that rights…..but in fact….he has no right to keep secrets from the public…from us….as he was elected….not a King born with birth rights.
    Such is the attitude and style he ruled us as PM for 22 years…..a real dictator……yet so many malays still think he is great….and same people can condemn dictators from other countries.
    This is the shame we are living with….from outside world…laughing at our most hypocritical and corrupted system.
    To to it …….all showing how religious they are and fighting everyday to protect how religious they are.
    Where else in the world… can you see more hypocrites… than Malaysia?

    Like

  6. monsterball
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 19:12:56

    The clear sign he was controlling everything like a dictator was the first act to kill UMNO and register a new “UMNO BARU”. He could have enrich the old UMNO as he did for his new one…but to kill the old UMNO…he can put his men in the cabinet..much easier….all start anew as new members….thus a group went off and started another party led by Tungku Razaliegh.
    He had 4 Deputy Prime Minsters…as if …he found it so difficult to get the right one…yet he can perform so many many difficult tasks. .so easy with his brilliant mind. If he finds anyone treathening his position….like Anwar did…just look at his cruelty he can execute.
    So he is gone…..by right “UMNO BARU” should go with him……..voters gave Pak Lah a chance…….now look at the ‘People’s PM”…full of s**t!!
    Now his famous “I DON’T REMEMBER” line….used so many many time to prove he is not speaking truthfully all his life….yet he can teach others how to have integrity and be forthright.
    What type of a man can do all these things…yet some malays still her worship him.

    Like

  7. hkengmacao
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 22:10:40

    I am really disappointed with TDM. I expected him to tell ‘the whole truth, nothing but the truth’ especially after recovering from serious illness. He cannot just wash his hand like that after creating such mass to Malaysia.

    Whether the RCI found VK Lingam guilty or not is secondary now. Just hope they still have the conscience to recommend setting up of a Judicial Commission for appointing judges. Malaysia cannot afford to have another ‘NO, NO’ or ‘I can’t remember’ answers from a PM.

    Like

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  9. La Cha Mau
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 11:54:22

    I totally disagree Dr.Hsu. As you have mentioned “it is only human nature and judges are no exception”. So you suggest that the Judicial Commission comprises of retired judges, public notaries & representatives of the Bar. Aren’t these people human with each one of them having extended families. What if members of their families run foul of the law and have to be brought before these judges. It comes to the same thing, isn’t it.

    I agree with your suggestion of an independent Judicial Commission BUT it must comprise retired judges, public notaries and Bar representatives from an enemy country of Malaysia. And there is no bigger enemy than Israel as they are the only country stated in our passports which we are prohibited from visiting. Then and then only I say we are going places with judicial independence.

    Like

  10. jeff
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 11:55:23

    22 years of DrM reign, Malaysia judiciary branch is effectively becoming the chief executive’s skeleton for money pandering among buyers. This man’s ironfist legacy is well known around the world.

    Like

  11. hsudarren
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 12:54:18

    La Cha Mau, thanks for your kind comment. But I think you may have misuderstood me.

    I said it is human nature to feel obliged to the person/leader who promoted you. But if the promotion is done by a committee of say about 10 people, you dont feel obliged to all the ten. Because that way, the decision is a committee decision . You may not know who sided for you and who voted against you, so you dont feel obliged.

    Another thing is , to buy one person is easy, but to buy all ten of them or at least 6 of them is not that easy . That by itself, is a deterrent agaisnt corrupt practices and abuse of power, and prevent nepotism and cronyism too.

    A crony of one of the commission members may not be agrreable to other members of the commission. Similarly, a son or son-in-law of a member of the commission may not get the votes of all the other members. The system is of course not fool proof but definitely better than that by a single person.

    Appointment by a commission is therefore a better way and a fairer way to acknowledge a person’s merits and worth, than just by a single person.

    I hope I have my position clearer by this explanation. But you are welcome to disagree with me.
    🙂

    Like

  12. La Cha Mau
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 13:20:24

    Yes, Dr.Hsu, your picture has always been clear to me and I cannot but agree with you more on this.

    However, members of the 10 man or 20 man committee will obviously be coming from the legal or judicial fraternity where everyone somehow or rather knows each other quite well. They being humans would again obviously take great pains to protect the inner circle as they would have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being beholden to one another because today it may be one of yours but tomorrow it will be one of mine who will stand before us…in the dock.

    There is no end to all of this but I guess it’s better than at present. Nevertheless, do not forget we have a democracy here and the rakyat have spoken at the polls…time and again, may I add. Thus, the PM has ALL THE POWER vested in him to decide as he pleases while the others can go to the dogs for all he cares.

    So fellow Malaysians, SPEAK SOON AT THE FORTHCOMING GE OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE for the next 5 years.

    Like

  13. A true Malaysian
    Jan 19, 2008 @ 15:46:21

    All of us are just human and have a lot of weaknesses if a certain matters have impact on our well being. This is just one of our selfish nature. All of us ultimately need to answer to whoever (to God / Allah for those who believe in Him) on judgement day.

    What I wish to say is that even judges, ex-judges, or for that matter, a PM or ex PM will not speak ‘the whole truth, nothing but the truth’ even an oath is taken before the proceeding taken place.

    Since we have come to this stage of the inquiry, I hope VK Lingam will do something good when facing the RCI.

    I hope the RCI will recommend setting up of a Judicial Commission as suggested by Dr. Hsu even if no one is found guilty ultimately, a least something good is recommended.

    Like

  14. humbleforest
    Jan 20, 2008 @ 17:29:10

    Life is beautiful and useful if one knows how
    Life is ugly and dirty if knows not

    If man does not know how to value himself, then
    he will be destroyed by himself
    If man struggles for gold until old without upgrading his Moral Values, his spirit becomes weak and his life becomes aimless and filled with
    sufferings.

    Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.

    A sincere heart is much more better than a false
    appearance. For the greater deceiver is the man
    who deceieves himself.
    No one, even a great deceiver cannot evade the natural Law of Retribution. What you sow, sow shall you reap.

    Those who are blessed with honesty and faithfulness by Heaven are to perform their duties
    with justifications and without discrimination. They are entrusted the powers not to abuse and misuse but to be trusted and respected by the
    masses.

    Man must not be without shame for the shame of being without shame is shamelessness indeed.

    Like

  15. humbleforest
    Jan 20, 2008 @ 17:53:13

    There is no perfect human system. There is no system of systems. No human system may offer
    true everlasting solution to conflicts and problems
    unless there is sincerity, compassion, Universal Love and Justice for one another.
    Systems come in many forms and names. It is the intention and substance one should focus on.
    Greed, hatred, biasness and egoism should not be in our mind and heart.

    Like

  16. Jeff
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 00:46:34

    Doc, TDM is definitely not a stupid man, see all the messes and strangle hold of political power he got during his era, why he wants to say anything to incriminate himself after all he does not even have the office of P.M anymore to save his ass from ACA investigation if one is warranted in case.

    Like

  17. Karpa
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 01:03:17

    Dr. Hsu, it is not human nature to corrupt, it is the greed and indifference of man in the pursuit of great wealth and political power that make him take the course of evil. As you know, the one man system is in placed by this TDM to benefit just one man n his cronies n family members, it is really not a secret anymore.

    Like

  18. budak cina
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 07:09:37

    Ball-less. Go lick mahathir’s monsterballs

    Like

  19. hsudarren
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 13:53:19

    budak cina, you are mistaken. Pls read carefully what i said. I did not priase Mahathir.

    When I said ” I have to agree with him” instead of “I agree with him”, there is a lot of differences. “I have to agree with him” means that I dont like to agree with him but I am forced to agree with him because the system is such that he can answer the way he answered.

    I have deleted the subsequent sentence you posted because this blog does not allow vulgarities to be posted.

    I do not blame you because the standard of English has indeed gone down.

    Like

  20. monsterball
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 15:30:03

    To respond to budak cina…I…doubt Mahathir… a man of his age have monsterballs…and by chance my nick sound alike…less one ball.
    And right now…many believe he is living under all sorts of life support devices and medicine.
    And Doc….getting so many readers to misunderstand your messages ..is like you noted.. English gone down…….but many do not have any skills to put out an opinion too….but only know how to insult and criticize others. Therefore….manners also gone down drastically. Hope it is only in blogging with faceless and nameless..trying to be brave and smart.

    Like

  21. jeff
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 00:56:46

    Doc, since you deleted budak cina vulgar words,i am sure he has to be quite a stupid dude or lack of education, because only people with lack of English vocabulary will use vulgarity in place of his insufficiency. I am seriously in doubt whether he can fully understand your point and honest opinion.

    Monsterball,if TDM has ball,then he will not have to continue to play on malay ketuanan racist rhetoric during his reign of power, this man is well known for his hateful speech around the world.

    Like

  22. humbleforest
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 13:21:22

    The World will not be at peace and harmony if
    the situation continues with one who does not have the courage to admit and correct one’s fault
    and wrong-doing, and the other party who does not willing to forgive and give pardon, instead with an overflow of controversies, heated arguments, angry remarks, rude comments, rejected constructive suggestions and conflicts.
    The World will still be full of lies, pretences, cheats, corruptions, briberies, excuses, side-stepped issues, and all sorts of wrong accusations.
    Again history repeats itself with these immoral
    manners ceaselessly.

    The best remedy to improve this World for a better living is, everyone has to restrain and concentrate calmly in self-introspecting in one’s inner-self through moral cultivation. Follow the
    law of Nature and heed the Holy Supreme Lord’s
    teachings.
    Pure moral cultivator sees no evil, hears no evil,
    speaks no evil, thinks no evil and acts no evil.
    He sees all are equal. He loves all without any
    discrimination whatsoever. Care, share and hurt or harm no one is his “doing without doing” action.
    Failure or success of blissfulness in this World
    lies in everyone’s own hand.

    Like

  23. jeff
    Jan 23, 2008 @ 11:23:56

    In USA, the president can only appoint a supreme court judge after the nominee go through the thorough hearing from 10 congressional senators from both parties, there is no room for judiciary pandering by chief executive by any mean.

    Like

  24. jeff
    Jan 24, 2008 @ 05:15:54

    Instead of letting a supreme court justice appointed by 10 persons, which in a way itself is a very tedious process, let alone not very practical in reality, to overcome its complexity, USA constitution require the appointee by president to go through nomination hearing by a committee of congressional members before he or she is allowed to sit on the supreme court bench, it effectively reduce chief executive pandering power.

    Like

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