Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Judge orders Raja Petra to remove articles on Shafee

KUALA LUMPUR: Blogger and website editor Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin has been given until Friday to remove three articles on his blog which were considered defamatory of lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. At the same time, Raja Petra was ordered to reveal the source(s) for these articles as well as the identities of those who have posted their comments and messages on the three articles by Saturday.

These injunctions were granted by judge Datuk Tee Ah Sing in chambers at the High Court about 4.30pm yesterday.

Muhammad Shafee had taken out a writ of summons against Raja Petra for defamation over all the three articles posted on his blog at his Malaysia Today website on Aug 6, 7 and 11.

The plaintiff said in a statement that the order granted by the High Court was against the blogger who continuously and maliciously went on a rampage to defame him.

"I have not seen anything more defamatory than what this man has written. None of what he said is true.

"Even someone with a pea-sized brain would realise the preposterousness of the stories Raja Petra had posted on his blog."

He accused Raja Petra of hiding behind his blog.

The blogger was also sued for defamation relating to the publication of comments, posts and statement that had been posted on the blog by visitors and commentators in relation to the three articles.

Further injunctions were also given prohibiting Raja Petra from publishing or causing to be published or continuing to publish the three offending articles or further articles similar in content to the said articles.

The articles were entitled "Shafee Abdullah: Sodomologist Extraordinaire"; "Money, Power and Sex: What Motivates Man", and "The Real Dalang Behind the Anwar Sodomy Allegation".

- nst

Raja Petra ordered to reveal source and reader IDs


KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court here has ordered Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin to reveal his sources for the allegations he made against lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah in three online articles.

In addition, the wide-ranging order compels him to, within three days of its service to him, reveal the identities of visitors to his web portal who had left comments and messages following the articles.

In the three articles dated Aug 6, Aug 7 and Aug 11, Raja Petra had accused Shafee of masterminding the recent sodomy charge against PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The order, granted by Justice Tee Ah Sing in chambers, also included several injunctions, the first of which directs Raja Petra to remove the defamatory articles from the web portal within two days as well as to remove any other follow up articles and comments posted by visitors.

Injunctions were also granted to restrain him or his agents from further publishing the said articles or any other articles, journals, letters, comments, posts and statements that are defamatory of Shafee on the web portal or any third party websites.

The order was the result of an ex parte summons in chambers filed by the lawyer, who had earlier Wednesday filed a defamation suit against the blogger over the same articles.

The court fixed Sept 2 to hear the inter partes application.

When contacted, Shafee said the order granted by the High Court was against "a blog owner who continuously, maliciously and contumeliously went on a rampage to defame me."

"I have not seen anything more defamatory than what this man has written. None of what he said is true," he said.

Shafee also challenged Raja Petra to enter appearance in this case and dared him to prove the truth of the contents of all three articles.

As at press time, the three articles were still available on the Malaysia Today portal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Malaysian Judges Sent To Indoctrination Camp - Report

Malaysian Judges Sent To Indoctrination Camp - Report

Wednesday, 11 June 2008
(AFP)--Malaysian judges were sent to an indoctrination "boot camp" and threatened with dismissal to pressure them into making pro-government decisions, a senior judge said, according to reports Wednesday.

In explosive allegations made in open court, Justice Ian Chin also said he was threatened by former premier Mahathir Mohamad over high-profile cases, one involving a close associate of the then-leader.

"Now, though he is no longer the prime minister and so no longer able to carry out his threat to remove judges, the coalition party that he led is still around," he said, according to the Borneo Post.

Chin made the allegations before hearing a dispute over results of March general elections in Sarawak state on Borneo island.

He said he was targeted by Mahathir after refusing to award "astronomical" payouts in two libel cases in 1997, while a judge who agreed with the then- premier's views was promoted to the Federal Court.

Chin reportedly said he was then packed off to a five-day boot camp with selected judges and judicial officers.

It was without any doubt "an attempt to indoctrinate those attending the boot camp to hold the view that the government interest as being more important than all else when we are considering our judgement," he said.

Malaysian Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenavasan called for an inquiry into the allegations, which she said were "both startling and damning."

"Judges, both present and past, must be encouraged to come forward and provide information on any such instances of interference so that further action may be taken," she said according to the New Straits Times.

Mahathir stood down in 2003 after 22 years in power and his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has been criticised for failing to carry out his promises to tackle corruption, which is deeply entrenched in politics and business.

Chin's allegations add to the pall cast over the country's judiciary by a recent royal commission into a sensational Mahathir-era video clip that showed a top lawyer brokering judicial appointments with the help of politicians.

Mahathir has challenged the authorities to charge him.

"I want them to charge me in court. Only then will I have the opportunity to expose more conflicts faced by the judges, including those who have implicated me," he said.

Mahathir's spokesman Sufi Yusoff told AFP the former premier was aware of Chin's comments and would respond in due course.

Justice Ian Chin tells of threats and indoctrination attempt

The Star Online > Nation Wednesday June 11, 2008
Justice Ian Chin tells of threats and indoctrination attempt

PETALING JAYA: A High Court judge here revealed that a former prime minister had threatened judges. Justice Datuk Ian H. C. Chin also said he and selected judges were sent to a boot camp to ensure they got the message.
Justice Chin said this before hearing an election petition challenging the results of the Sarikei parliamentary seat which was won by a Barisan Nasional candidate by just 51 votes.
In a report in the Borneo Post yesterday, that comes hot on the heels of the findings of the Royal Commission on the V.K. Lingam video clip, Justice Chin said the threat from the former prime minister came after he handed down two judgments in 1997.
One was a judgment on a libel case involving MGG Pillai and Tan Sri Vincent Tan where he refused to give what he considered to be an astronomical award.
Justice Datuk Ian H. C. Chin... he and selected judges were sent to a boot camp to ensure they got the message

Justice Chin said the other judgment was in an election petition on Bukit Bangunan in the Sri Aman Division that he ruled in favour of Independent candidate Donald Lawan against Barisan Nasional candidate Mong Dagang.
“Shortly after the two judgments, the Judges Conference was held from April 24, 1997 where the then prime minister issued a thinly veiled threat to remove judges by referring them to a tribunal and stating that, though it may be difficult to do so, it was still done.”
Justice Chin said the former prime minister expressed unhappiness with what he termed ‘the Borneo Case’.
“Everyone knew which case he was referring to,” he added.
Justice Chin said after the threat, the former Prime Minister said people should pay heavily for libel and he only got a single response from a Court of Appeal judge who asked if he would be happy with a sum of RM1mil as damages for libel.
“He approved of it and later made known his satisfaction by promoting this judge (since deceased) to the Federal Court over many others who were senior to him.”
A month later, Justice Chin said he and select judges and judicial officers were packed off to a boot camp from May 26-30, 1997 where there was an attempt to indoctrinate them with the view “that the government interest was more important than all else.”
“Stating this devilish notion was no less a person than the President of the Court of Appeal. Everyone was quiet during the question sessions.”
Justice Chin added “the perversion of justice” continued and recounted an episode when a fellow judge Muhammad Kamil Awang told him he had received a telephone call from the then Chief Justice asking him to dismiss the election petition that he was going to hear in Kota Kinabalu.
“We went into the possibility of making a police report or of writing to the Chief Justice a letter to record what he had said over the telephone but in the end he decided against it since it would be his word against that of the Chief Justice,” he said.
Justice Chin said he was happy to later on learn that Kamil did not bow to the pressure and went on to hear the petition, thereafter making a decision based on law and evidence.
Justice Chin said he wanted the parties involved in the current petition and their counsel to hear his disclosure in case they wanted him to recuse himself.
The High Court judge said he had twice stood unsuccessfully as a Barisan Nasional candidate for a parliamentary and later for a state seat in Sabah in the 1980s and in one of those elections he was defeated by a DAP candidate.
“Now, though he is no longer the prime minister and so no longer able to carry out his threat to remove judges, the coalition party that he led is still around” and the second respondent was a Barisan candidate and “it may cross someone’s mind that I may have an axe to grind against the party concerned or any party thereof.”
To this, he said: “No amount of words from me would assuage you of your worry. You will have to read my judgments as to whether they are according to the evidence and the law or were influenced by threat.”
Chin then adjourned for half an hour to let the parties consider whether they wished to make any application for his recusal.
However, the parties – DAP’s Dr Wong Hua Seh and Barisan’s Ding Kuong Hiing – expressed their full confidence in him in presiding over the hearing of the case.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister at the relevant time. He was not available for comment yesterday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Azizah: BN cuba tutup isu video Lingam

Azizah: BN cuba tutup isu video Lingam
May 14, 08 3:45pm
Barisan Nasional didakwa cuba menutup isu kontroversi rakaman video peguam VK Lingam apabila menolak usul tergempar isu itu yang ingin dibawa oleh ketua pembangkang di Dewan Rakyat hari ini.

Usul Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail untuk membahaskan laporan siasatan suruhanjaya diraja - yang telah diserahkan kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan belum didedahkan kepada umum - ditolak di peringkat dalam kamar yang dipetua dewan Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

"Keputusan yang dipertua Dewan Rakyat untuk menolak usul tergempar tersebut amat mengecewakan," kata presiden PKR, yang juga ahli parlimen Permatang Pauh, dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

"Malah alasan yang dikemukakan jelas memperlihatkan percubaan kerajaan Barisan Nasional untuk menutup perkara yang berkepentingan umum ini dibahaskan dalam Parlimen."

Tambahnya, usul tersebut perlu dibahaskan segera memandangkan jemaah menteri akan memutuskan sama ada laporan tersebut akan didedahkan atau sebaliknya kepada pengetahuan umum Jumaat ini.

Menurutnya lagi, Pandikar Amin memaklumkan bahawa penolakan usul tersebut menurut peraturan mesyuarat 18(5) yang menyebut "tidak lebih daripada satu usul boleh dibawa pada satu hari persidangan mesyuarat".

Wan Azizah berkata, yang dipertua memaklumkan bahawa terdapat satu usul lain daripada ahli parlimen Ipoh Barat akan dibahaskan hari ini.

"Kami berpendirian bahawa, sekiranya kerajaan Barisan Nasional bersungguh-sungguh ingin memulihkan integriti sistem kehakiman negara,... yang dipertua sewajarnya menangguhkan usul yang penting itu kepada keesokan hari, dan bukannya ditolak mentah-mentah dalam kamar," katanya lagi.

"Perbahasan usul tersebut dalam Dewan Rakyat penting bagi memulihkan kembali keyakinan umum terhadap badan kehakiman negara yang begitu teruk tercemar seperti mana didedahkan dalam video Lingam."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Press Statement - Royal Commission Report

Kami mengalu-alukan penyerahan Laporan Suruhanjaya Diraja mengenai video klip Lingam kepada Yang Di-Pertuan Agong dan meminta laporan itu segara didedahkan kepada umum.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berhasrat melaksana reformasi badan kehakiman, seperti mana yang beliau umumkan sebelum ini, maka cadangan suruhanjaya tersebut supaya menyiasat dan mendakwa kalangan yang terlibat dapat dilaksanakan.

Kami juga ingin memohon penjelasan bersabit laporan suruhanjaya yang mengaitkan isu ketidak adilan pendakwaan dan penghukuman kes-kes tertentu dibawah bidang kuasa suruhanjaya tersebut.

Amat mendesak sekali untuk kerajaan mengambil tindakan wajar mengembalikan keyakinan terhadap badan kehakiman serta memastikan agar penyiasatan dan pendakwaan salah laku jenayah oleh Jabatan Peguam Negara yang bebas dari gangguan pemerintah.

Ini pastinya melibatkan beberapa percanggahan dan kaedah yang dipertikai yang sewajarnya dipatuhi oleh pihak berwajib dalam penyiasatan kes yang melibatkan pimpinan kanan kerajaan termasuk kes-kes yang tercela seperti pembunuhan dan yang melibatkan dana yang besar.

Rakyat Malaysia prihatin tentang permasalahan tersebut dan justeru itu tidak harus diremehkan oleh pemeritnhn sekarang. Sebarang tindakan yang dianggap tidak bersungguh-sungguh bagi memulihkan kewibawaan badan kehakiman pasti nya tidak akan berhasil.


We welcome the submission of the report of the Royal Commission on the Lingam video clip to the Yang DiPertuan Agong. We call for its full ventilation to the Malaysian public. If Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is serious about judicial reform, then he should take this report to its logical culmination which is the investigation and prosecution of those who the report deems to have deviated the course of justice.

We have to ask what the import of the Royal Commission’s findings are with respect to the unjust prosecutions and convictions in cases that fell within the gravitational field of the inquiry conducted by this Commission.It is critical that adequate measures be taken to restore the independence of the judiciary and to ensure the professional and unbiased investigation and prosecution of criminal activity by the Attorney General’s chambers that is free of executive interference.

This would involve serious consideration of the inconsistence and dubious procedures being followed by the authorities right now in the investigation of cases that involve senior government officials and, to mention a few of the more egregious allegations, murder and the massive misappropriation of public fund.
These issues are of deep concern to the Malaysian people and should not be taken lightly by the present administration. A half-hearted attempt at restoration would be as unsatisfactory as no restoration at all.

May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Fairuz orangnya, lapor akhbar

Fairuz orangnya, lapor akhbar
May 10, 08 1:04pm

Siasatan suruhanjaya diraja telah mengenalpasati bekas seorang ketua hakim negara sebagai orang yang terbabit dalam klip video yang menunjukkan seorang peguam kanan mengatur pelantikan hakim, demikian menurut laporan akhbar hari ini.

Dalam laporan muka depannya, akhbar berbahasa Inggeris, The Star, melaporkan bahawa panel penyiasat telah mengenalpasti Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Halim sebagai orang yang bercakap dengan peguam Datuk VK Lingam dalam klip yang dirakamkan pada tahun 2001 itu.

Panel siasatan lima orang itu, yang mengemukakan laporan yang panjang lebar kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong semalam, mendapati klip dan perbualan tersebut adalah tulen, lapor akhbar tersebut yang memetik sumber-sumber dari suruhanjaya tersebut.

Pengerusi suruhanjaya diraja itu, Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor telah menyarankan agar laporan penuh siasatan terhadap klip video tersebut diumumkan kepada awam, tetapi perdana menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi berkata, beliau belum membacanya dan oleh itu belum memutuskan mengenainya, lapor akhbar itu lagi.

Mabuk atau cakap besar

Para pegawai suruhanjaya tersebut tidak dapat dihubungi untuk mendapatkan ulasan mengenainya.

Bekas timbalan perdana menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah mendedahkan klip video tersebut tahun lalu.

Kerajaan kemudiannya menubuhkan suruhanjaya diraja untuk menyiasat klip video tersebut, dengan memanggil saksi-saksi terkemuka termasuk mantan perdana menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, seorang menteri kabinet dan beberapa bekas ketua hakim, untuk memberi keterangan.

Lingam enggan mengesahkan yang beliau adalah individu yang bercakap dalam video tersebut, dan berkata, jika beliaulah orangnya, sudah pastinya beliau sedang mabuk atau sengaja bercakap besar.

Skandal tersebut telah mencalarkan ime badan kehakiman Malaysia dan persoalan telah ditimbulkan berhubung penghakiman dalam kes-kes yang membabit mereka yang dikaitkan dalam skandal tersebut.


Panel finds Lingam video clip authentic


KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam video clip has found that it was former Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim who was talking to prominent lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam on the telephone.

Sources said the five-man panel also found that the video clip was authentic and that the conversation was true in substance.

They said the commission also found that it was lawyer Loh Mui Fah who Lingam was speaking to after his telephone conversation with Fairuz.

Commission chairman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor presented a two-volume report on the findings to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at the Istana Negara here yesterday.
The commission commenced its enquiry on Jan 14.
Duty accomplished: The Royal Commission’s secretary Datuk Abdullah Sani Abd Hamid speaking to reporters as he leaves Istana Negara Friday morning. The panel found that it was Ahmad Fairuz (below, right) who was talking to Lingam on the telephone in the video clip.

The sources said the commission also found that there was sufficient evidence of misbehaviour by certain persons mentioned or identified in the clip.

They said the commission found sufficient reason for the relevant authorities to take appropriate action against those implicated for breaches of the Sedition Act, the Penal Code, the Official Secrets Act, the Legal Profession Act and other laws.

They added that the commission was recommending the Government set up a Judicial Appointments Commission and to undertake other necessary reforms.

Sources also said the commission stated that its report was not meant as an indictment against all judges.
Former Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor, who chaired the commission, said yesterday that the King was happy that the enquiry had been completed.

The other four members of the commission were former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong, former Court of Appeal Judge and former Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mahadev Shankar, former Solicitor-General Puan Sri Zaitun Zawiyah Puteh and Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim.

The video clip showing the apparent brokering of judicial appointments and promotions first came to light on Sept 19 last year when PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim released it at a press conference.

Anwar later released two more segments that showed Lingam telling Loh that he had been talking to Fairuz.

On Sept 25, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that an independent inquiry committee would investigate the authenticity of the video clip purportedly made in 2001.

The committee completed its report on Nov 6. It was studied by the Cabinet but never made public.

Based on the recommendations of the committee, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced the setting up of the commission on Dec 12.

At the conclusion of the enquiry on Feb 15, the commission had heard testimony from 21 witnesses and received more than 100 exhibits and over 15 statutory declarations.

Among the prominent witnesses were former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan and retired chief justices Tun Mohamed Eusoff Chin and Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah.

The commission had first fixed March 11 to submit the report to the King but sought two one-month extensions later.

Let’s Send Altantuya Murderers to Hell: Malaysian Press

Let’s Send Altantuya Murderers to Hell: Malaysian Press

Saturday, 10 May 2008

(UB Post, Mongolia) - The father of a Mongolian woman brutally killed in Malaysia in 2006, this week told media that Mongolia would break all diplomatic ties with the country unless the Malaysian judicial system solves the murder case justly and fairly.

Shaariibuu made the outburst during a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur, where he arrived for the third time in an attempt to speed up the trial of his daughter Altantuya’s alleged murderers.

He visited Malaysian Parliament House on April 28 and held a press conference to request his lawyer personally deliver his letter addressed to both Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

He also asked media representatives and 222 newly-elected members of the Malaysian parliament to stand up for 10 seconds in memory of his deceased daughter.

He waited at the entrance of the Malaysian Parliament House for half a day to force an impromptu meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi arrived to attend Parliament’s ceremonial session of the swearing-in of new members, he briefly said “Hello, how are you?” before walking away without hearing Shaariibuu’s reply, local media reported.

“I felt the least he could exchange some words and say words of condolences to Shaariibuu for the lost of his daughter,” said Susan Loone, a Malaysian human rights activist.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated on April 28 that S.Shaariibuu’s statement to Malaysian press representatives was his own personal view, not a formal position by the Government of Mongolia.

The MFA statement said that the Mongolia government was carefully observing the murder trial, and has sent four letters to the Malaysian side through official channel in the hope that the case would be solved fair and free from any political influence.

“The most recent one was by S.Oyun, Minister of Foreign Affairs. As a Member of Parliament, she sent a letter to Malaysian Parliament, reiterating the case will be solved free and fair,” the statement said.

Altantuya, 28 and a mother of two children, was murdered in October, 2006 in Shah Alam. She was shot twice and then blown up with military-use C4 explosives.

Two police officers, who protected high-profile Malaysia leaders including Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak, are accused of the murder and Abdul Razak Baginda, a close political associate of Malaysian Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak, is charged with abetting the murder.

Altantuya, a multi-lingual translator working for Abdul Razak Baginda, is believed to have known “too much” about multi-billion Euro weapon deals, especially Malaysian government’s purchase of nuclear submarines from France in which Abdul Razak Baginda negotiated in between.

Altantuya was last seen in front of Abdul Razak Baginda’s house, being pushed into a car and driven away. Her entrance records at the Malaysian immigration computer database were found deleted for unknown reason after she died.

Deputy Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s press secretary, Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, issued a statement on May 29 that neither the Malaysian deputy prime minister nor his wife, Rosmah Mansor, had anything to do with the murder of the Mongolian translator.

In the statement, the press secretary threatened legal action if allegations in the press and elsewhere of Najib’s involvement in the case continued. The statement also denied that Najib had anything to do with erasing the victim’s immigration records, or that he had ever met her.

Earlier during the trial procedure, Altantuya’s cousin said that she saw a picture of Altantuya at a dinner table with Najib and Abdul Razak.The Malaysian opposition leader, Wan Azizah, said she will take up the issues to Parliament.

“We have 82 members in Parliament now, surely many questions can be asked to make this trial speedy.

“Questions that can only be raised in Parliament are who ordered Altantuya’s killing, who ordered the explosives that killed Altantuya, and was she dead or alive before she was blown,” she said.

“I will never tire of asking them again and again till we get some answers.

“This trial is not only about a single woman, it is about international relations, performance of the court and judges, and the question of our basic human rights - right to free and fair trial,” Azizah said.

Karpal Singh, a prominent Malaysian lawyer representing Shaariibuu, said the slow pace of the trial has taken its toll on Shaariibuu and his family.

“Altantuya’s youngest son, who is 4 years old, is presently in hospital suffering from peripheral nerve paralysis and cannot walk. Further, his wife has just had a heart attack,” added Karpal.

Karpal expressed regret that the Malaysian government had not responded to the Mongolian Government’s letters sent by its Prime Minister to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He urged Abdullah to pay attention to the letters and relay his response immediately.

“Every effort should be made to ensure the trial is fair and expeditious, fair and free.

“The eyes of the international world are on us. In fact our legal and judicial systems are themselves on trial”, he said.

He also said that he had written to the Malaysian Attorney General, Gani Patail, to ensure that the trial proceeds without any further delay.

The trial, which was delayed a number of times since June 2007, has been delayed again last week until May 5. So far, 75 witnesses have been called.