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Najib, Rafidah, Samy Vellu and
Keng Yaik who were Ministers 18 years ago and must bear personal and
collective responsibility for the 1988 judicial crisis should make amends by
raising in Cabinet for review of the kangaroo sackings of Salleh Abas as
Lord President and two Supreme Court judges Wan Suleiman and George Seah
(Parliament, Wednesday) : Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Paduka Rafidah Aziz, Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and Minister for Energy, Water and Communications, Datuk Ser Dr. Lim Keng Yaik who were Ministers 18 years ago and must bear personal and collective responsibility for the 1988 judicial crisis should make amends by raising in Cabinet for review of the kangaroo sackings of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President and two Supreme Court judges, the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Seah.
Najib was during the thick of the 1988 judicial crisis the Minister for Youth and Sports, Rafidah the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Samy Vellu the Minister for Works and Keng Yaik the Minister for Primary Industries.
They were fully part of the Executive of the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in the campaign to subvert and destroy an independent judiciary through the establishment of two kangaroo judicial tribunals resulting in the arbitrary and unconstitutional sacking of Salleh, Wan Suleiman and Goerge Seah.
It is to the eternal shame of Parliament that the then Speaker, the late Tun Zahir Mohamad Zahir was roped in by Mahathir to be part of this kangaroo of a judicial tribunal to sack Salleh.
Tun Dr. Mahathir had described the present Cabinet as a “half-past six” Cabinet. Was the 1988 Cabinet of Mahathir a “half-past six” one and were the 1988 Ministers, including Najib, Rafidah, Samy Vellu and Keng Yaik “half-past six” ones?
As the four
Ministers in the current Cabinet who were part of the Executive 1988 which
brought infamy to the Malaysian judiciary and nation, Najib, Rafidah, and
Samy Vellu and Keng Yaik cannot continue to remain silent on this roiling
controversy and efforts to rescue the soul of an independent judiciary in
hey must speak up and declare whether they were willing parties to the 1988 Executive assault on the doctrine of separation of powers, usurping judicial powers by subverting the fundamental principle of judicial independence – a crisis from which the Malaysian judiciary had not yet fully recovered nearly two decades later.
If they were not willing parties to the 1988 Executive assault on the judiciary, they should make amends to raise in Cabinet the snowballing demand for the review of the 1988 judicial crisis as the most important cathartic step to heal the 18-year judicial trauma to put a truly independent judiciary back on its feet again.
If they do not support the establishment of a Royal Commission to review the 1988 judicial crisis, and to restore justice to the judges wronged in 1988, then let them declare and justify their stand.
Yesterday, Salleh referred
incidents which he said proved that his fate as the Lord President was
sealed before a tribunal heard misconduct charges against him in 1988 and
which he hoped would
meet the "new and important facts" criteria set by Minister in the Prime
Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz for a review of the 1988
As Nazri admitted to my query in Parliament last week, any Cabinet Minister could raise the issue of a review of the 1988 judicial crisis in Cabinet, this will be a test of Mahathir’s contemptuous dismissal of the present Cabinet as “half-past six” as to whether all the Cabinet Ministers are insensitive and deaf to the mounting pressures from retired and wronged judges and their families, the legal community and the civil society to re-open and heal the terrible wounds inflicted on the Malaysian judiciary nearly two decades ago.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman