by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday,
ACA must immediately open investigations on
Zaki’s expose of two recently retired judges who were corrupt to make
public examples of them for betraying their oath of judicial office
The new Chief Justice, Tan Sri Zaki Azmi’s
revelation of two recently retired judges who were suspected to be
corrupt is shocking not because of the admission of rotten apples in the
judiciary but only that it was made publicly in so specific fashion for
the first time.
That there are corrupt judges in the judiciary has long been an open
secret, which had been more than amply proved by the “correct, correct,
correct” Royal Commission of Inquiry into the V.T.Lingam videotape.
This is one reason why Malaysia had suffered the plunge of our
judiciary’s international reputation as a world-class institution,
propelled by two decades of judicial darkness and scandals when the
independence, impartiality and integrity of the Malaysian judiciary
became an international laughing-stock.
Speaking at the panel on “Integrity, the Catalyst for Sustainable
Development” at the national integrity convention in Kuching yesterday,
Zaki said about the two corrupt judges:
"God helped me because when I came (into the judiciary), they were gone.
No, I didn't dismiss them, they retired."
He said he knew the two judges personally.
The question is whether the two corrupt judges “were gone” when he
became Chief Justice last month or when he was elevated to President of
Court of Appeal on December 11, 2007, three months after he made the
triple jump from the private sector to be appointed Federal Court judge
If the former, then the question arises why he did not set in motion the
establishment of judicial tribunals to impeach these two corrupt judges
in the past 11 months.
Secondly, why hadn’t he reported the two corrupt judges to the
Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) as the crime of corruption has neither time
bar nor statute of limitations?
Zaki’s expose should prompt the ACA to immediately open investigations
on the recently retired judges who were corrupt to make public examples
of them for betraying their oath of judicial office.
It was only early this week that the new Penang ACA director Latifah Md
Yatim said that the ACA has been investigating corrupt allegations from
all sources including newspaper reports and poison pen letters as long
as there is basis.
Speaking to reporters after officially taking over the director’s post,
Latifah, who was previously the ACA director of Sabah for about two
years, said “there is now no excuse not to give information” and that
the public should never be afraid to come forward to make reports,
There should be no need for the ACA to advise Zaki not to be afraid or
that there could be no excuse for him not to give information to the ACA
on the two recently retired corrupt judges.
In Kuching yesterday, Zaki also confessed that he had succumbed to the
culture corruption when he recounted his “first-hand experience of
having to face corruption problems in the court”, as reported by New
Straits Times report, “Stop it now, corrupt court staff warned”:
"What I am telling you is not fiction
but based on my own experience in private practice," he said at an
integrity convention here.
Recalling an incident in 1987, Zaki said he was "blacklisted" when
he complained to the chief registrar of two missing files belonging
to his clients.
"It took me six months to be nice, to bribe each and every
individual to get back into their good books before our files were
being attended to.
"That was my personal experience, and I am telling this to all the
clerks and all the registries to stop this nonsense and I know this
is happening, even as late as last week... a lawyer came to see me."
He added that the clerk asked the lawyer to come the next day to
collect the file after saying "tapi jangan lupa, ya", signalling him
to come with cash.
Is Zaki prepared to spearhead a crusade to
clean up the corruption and malpractices at all levels of the judiciary,
by giving personal attention to all complaints about corruption,
malpractices and abuses of power at all levels of the judicial
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor