Media Statement (3) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 9th June 2009:
Congrats Zaki for being conferred a “Tun” but where is Court of Appeal judgment in Nizar vs Zambry case after the five-minute shotgun unanimous decision 18 days ago?
Congrats to Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi for being conferred a “Tun” on the occasion of the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s birthday on Saturday.
But where is the Court of Appeal judgment in the Nizar vs Zambry case after its five-minute shotgun unanimous decision 18 days ago overturning the landmark decision of Justice Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim of Kuala Lumpur High Court by declaring Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir (self-claimed 3-in-1 Mandela, Gandhi, King) as the lawful Perak Mentri Besar?
Court of Appeal judge Datuk Md Raus Sharif had promised on May 22 that the written judgment would be made available in a week when Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s counsel Sulaiman Abdullah gave notice of leave application to the Federal Court to appeal, but it is now 18 days since the Court of Appeal decision.
This long delay is in sharp contrast to the lightning speed with which the High Court judgment declaring Nizar as the lawful Perak Mentri Besar was “stayed” in a matter of hours in a single-judge Court of Appeal decision!
These developments are not conducive to the restoration of national and international confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
When he was appointed Chief Justice in October last year, and in response to allegations that the country was having an Umno Chief Justice for the first time in view of his long service to Umno in various capacities, Zaki said that he would not hear cases involving Umno which come to court.
What else has Zaki done to ensure that he distanced himself and is not any way involved with the Nizar vs Zambry case, the most high-profile Umno case in court since his appointment as Chief Justice?
This is a pertinent question as it is not just Pakatan Rakyat leaders, but lawyers and independent jurists like Prof Abdul Aziz Bari, Professor of Law at the International Islamic University, who said in a public forum in Ipoh last night that the judiciary and other institutions like the civil service, police and mainstream media had been used by the federal government to topple and seize power from the lawful Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak.
It is no business of the judiciary to help the incumbent federal government to topple any Pakatan Rakyat state government!
No wonder another constitutional law expert, Professor Shad Faruqui had presciently warned that the Perak crisis has become “a hydra-headed monster that cannot be eliminated by ding-dong judicial decisions”.
This is in fact a critical test for Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister as he should be aware that the judiciary is coming under adverse spotlight both nationally and internationally in the Nizar vs Zambry case.
If Najib is serious about the great task of restoring public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of key national institutions, as well as winning public support for the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of his premiership, he should spare the judiciary from such an adverse national and international spotlight and cut the Gordian knot of the four-month-old Perak political and constitutional crisis by dissolving the Perak state assembly for a Perak state general election to be held.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor