Dr Mahathir should apologise

It was many years late. Nevertheless, what Pak Lah did last night was one of the best things that he has undertaken since becoming PM 4 plus years ago.

According to Malaysiakini ,

The prime minister said the government will establish a judicial appointments commission to identify and recommend suitable candidates for the judiciary to him.

Pak Lah also promised to review the judiciary’s terms of service and remuneration – another point of contention which has elicited loud calls for reform from many quarters, the legal fraternity in particular.

More importantly, the PM has acknowledged the pain and sufferings of those who have been affected by teh 1988 judiciary crisis precipitated by the sacking of Tun Salleh Abbas.

“There is a pressing need to set salaries and compensation to the right levels to ensure that the bench can attract and retain the very best of the nation’s talent.

In a report on the 1988 crisis , Malaysian Insider mentioned:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last night called the six judges who were sacked or suspended in 1988 “towering judicial personalities” and said that the nation never fully recovered from the judicial crisis 20 years ago.

There was no apology in his speech but it did not matter. The regret and the admission of wrongdoing on the part of the executive were evident from the choice of words and the manner of delivery.

“For many, the events of 1988 were an upheaval of the nation’s judicial system. Rightly or wrongly, many disputed both the legality and morality of the related proceedings. For me, personally, I feel it was a time of crisis from which the nation never fully recovered,” he said.

“For me and for many other Malaysians, these towering judicial personalities represent a very different era for the nation’s judiciary. Many felt that the judiciary then was a venerable institution which could be trusted to deliver justice. Some even hailed Malaysia’s judiciary as a model for other countries – independent and credible,” said Abdullah.

He said that the government wanted to put on record the contribution of the six judges to the country and their commitment towards upholding justice and to acknowledge the pain and loss they have endured.

“For Tan Sri Eusoffe and Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and their families, I know this sentiment is made too late. For Tun Salleh Abas, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah and Datuk George Seah, although this acknowledgement is 20 years too late, it is made with much hope that a measure of the pain and loss may yet be healed,” he said.

Abdullah said that in recognition of the contributions of the “six outstanding judges”, the Government has decided to make goodwill ex gratia payments to them.

“Gentlemen, I do not presume to equate your contributions, pain and loss with mere currency, but I hope that you could accept this as a heartfelt and sincere gesture to mend what has been,” he said.

pic from Malaysian Insider – Tun Salleh felt vindicated .

I am gald that the judges involved are vindicated officially, even though it has come a bit late… all right thnking Malaysians have been clamouring for it since the retirement of Dr mahathir.

There should be an apology to these judges and their families, for the pain and sufferings that they have gone through. The son of Datuk Seri George Seah, Basil summed it up in the Star : ” We want a simple apology. The goodwill payment – how do you gauge and measure how much to compensate? An apology would have been better”.

The apology should not perhaps come from the present government . The person who should apologise is Dr Mahathir, the person behind the setting up of the Tribunal in 1988.  The apology should be tendered to all the people of Malaysia, including the affected judges. Malaysian judiciary, once noted for its fierce independence, was never the same again after the crisis. A compromised judiciary affects all Malaysians, and indrectly contributed to the poor goverance and the rots that we are facing now.

I hope the PM is sincere in trying to undo the rot that has affected almost all aspects of Malaysian society ( he has promised to deliver what he promised 4 years ago after the recent GE) , and  not just doing it to spite Dr Mahathir, who I am sure will be fighting back with his own mudslinging.




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ghenjis khan
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 14:57:46

    That speech wasn’t written by Pak Lah, he can never write like that or from his speech writers taking guide from him.

    The tone of the letter and style comes from the likes of Zaid Ibrahim … you can tell , when you comapre the interview he had with STAR or perhaps from his book.

    It is just a conveninece to distract the public from the bigger problem facing Pak Lah that is Mahathir.

    Like the IPCMC, it has come to naught and from the look of it, this Judicial Commission may face the same fate …..

    So, very true from Pak Lah who promises many things, never understand how to become the OWNER of the few projects that he spoke on behalf of others …

    Just like the Islam Hadhari thing, too … and the corruption thing too …

    Malaysia & Malaysians have lost their ability to pick winners and proper, and natural true leaders.


  2. A Voice
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 15:34:21

    Pak Lah did after he failed in his first term and his political career is setting.

    This is his last ditch attempt to salvage his premiership. By doing so, h e sopes to get the opposition support from dumping him from vote of no confidence and witheld najib’s on slaught.

    Lest not forget that Pak Lah appinted Zaki Tun Azmi in defiane to the uproar by both within and without UMNO.

    Seriously what basis do you wish to seek apology from Mahathir? Has he been convicted. Has he been determined as wrong. Thus far it is only one side accusing him and he ahs remain silence. never underestimated Mahathir.

    Remember that Pak Lah did not offer any apology but mere olive branch. Unknown to many, he is the root of the judiciary crisis.

    Whatever, lets move on. Will the judiciary now be gracious to accept and offer it’s own olive branch?

    Lets not forget that the crutch of the matter in the 1988 judicial eventas written by George Seah is the conduct of judiciary themselves ie Tun Hamid Omar and the judges themsleves.

    The legal and judicial community are no angels themselves. The are many stories pervading regarding Karpal Singh, Harun Hashim, Salleh Abas, Param, Radzi Shiekh Ahmad, Zaid Ibrahim, Manjit Singh, etc etc etc.

    I have persoanally witness the judiciary fraternising with the lawyers. It involves opposition party member-lawyers!!!

    So save it.

    Enjoy the olive branch and move it.


  3. Hkengmacao
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 16:43:48

    Dr. Hsu,

    If Umno can’t even reform themselves, how you expect they can reform judiciary? Zaid Ibrahim is not enough to do the job.

    If it is so hard to say ‘sorry’, lets forget about judicial reform by present BN government. Let Pakatan Rakyat do the clean-up when they take over federal government.

    I agree with you that Mahathir should apologies but I don’t believe he will do that. He will never apologies as for him, black can become white and vice-versa.

    Let Pakatan Rakyat take over and form a Royal Commission to investigate. Even Mahathir agreed that a Royal Commission should be formed, so?


  4. Amen
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 21:03:36

    Im sorry for the sad zaid………..sad pak lah, sad malaysian…..MAHATHIR LEFT LONG TIME AGO…….IT HAS BEEN 4 YEARS>>>>>>>WHY noe?? WHAT IS THE MOTIVE?? is there any basis to this or its a game fixing !!!! Sad for those who vote this guys and sad for TUN selecting in error!!!!!!!!!!


  5. drloysz
    Apr 18, 2008 @ 23:34:28

    I think Pak Lah is doing the right thing by putting the judiciary back at the right place. it does not really matter whether he had done it in his first term or not – he has already done it now.”biar lambat, tapi masih ada”

    kudos to the present government. whether tun should apologize or not is a different matter. let not going to pick up old wounds, what is needed is to move forward. don’t be doing what pakatan rakyat doing now – looking at others’ past mistakes and demanding this and that. mistakes were done, we need to learn from it


  6. OmongWaras
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 20:16:32

    Gee Whiz ??

    Some people believe in their own ignorance …

    While others could see their prejudiced blindness, they do not even realise they are cataractly myopic.

    Bodoh sombong


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