Update: Payment is NOT apology, say Najib. Of course it is NOT! It is BRIBERY! Bribery to silence wrong doing, to hide long time sins and to allow impunity. That it what the ex-gratia payment is for! Please keep your dirty money to yourselves!
But then again…we are not the ‘affected’ judges or their families…
For the victims of the 1998 judicial crisis, it was not a ‘Dinner for Justice’ in Kuala Lumpur last night as PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi maintained that there will be NO APOLOGY for those ‘affected’ judges. His excuse was:
“It is not wise or useful to revisit this past decision as it would serve to prolong the sense of crisis – something our nation can do without”.
With so much losses at the March 8 General Elections, I don’t think Abdullah is qualified to say what our nation can do with or without! Although at the dinner Abdullah acknowledged the pain and loss they (the affected parties) endured. What good is it just to acknowledge? I was right. The call for judicial reforms were merely rethoric. No apology means such ‘high-handedness’ can be repeated.
But what is even worse is that Abdullah intends to buy justice with money. Quite a loatheful thing to do!
According to Malaysiakini, there will be “goodwill ex-gratia payment” to the six judges implicated in the 1988 crisis, three of whom were later removed. “I do not presume to equate your contribution, pain and loss with mere currency but I hope you could accept this as a heartfelt and sincere gesture to mend what had been”, Abdullah pleaded.
Abdullah, you are doing exactly that – equating their contribution, pain and loss with mere currency!
I hope those ‘affected persons’ – they are made to sound like a disease now – will not accept the payment. What good will it do now? If they do accept, then indeed it is true, justice can be bought and sold with money.
The judiciary will continue to be marred by the crisis. Impunity reigns. The engineers of the “darkest hours in judicial history” get away scott free. Let’s repeat this a thousand and more times over because this is a history that no one should forget:
In 1988, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had convened a special tribunal to try Salleh on charges of misconduct and for questioning constitutional amendments that seriously eroded the powers of the judiciary. Salleh was subsequently sacked. Supreme court judges Seah and Wan Sulaiman – who had ruled that the tribunal was convened unconstitutionally – were also sacked after being found guilty of misconduct by another tribunal. Three other judges – Azmi, Eusoffe and Wan Hamzah were suspended.
Mahathir of course has refused to apologise. Abdullah would have done himself some good if only he had said ‘sorry’ on behalf of the old man.
But justice it seems, can be prostituted – depending on who hold the reigns of power. Well done, Malaysia.
If you want to know who attended the dinner, just read Malaysiakini. This dinner, organised by the Bar Council, is indeed controversial. As lawyer Charles Hector says it again (in an email):
Why are we jointly organizing this event with the GOVERNMENT? The GOVERNMENT should have organized the event – and invited the Bar – maybe gave us some 150 seats for the Bar. JOINT ORGANIZATION -will this not affect our Independence? Would this not be seen an as endorsement of the government’s position that would be there in the speech of the PM?
What about the FUNDS for the Dinner – how much is the Bar spending for this Dinner? OR is the government footing the Bill but the BAR is doing all the work – we should not be doing this too for we are not GOVERNMENT “kuli” to take money and run and quickly organize dinners to enable the PM to have a venue and/or an event to make his speech. Did the PM miss the boat when he was not ready to deliver his speech during the recent Judges Conference (8-11 April 2008)?
The PM could have gone LIVE on TV and made this speech about “Judicial Reforms”, and that would have been better.