A day after an explosive affidavit went viral, creating an uproar, the noise calling for an RCI into judicial crimes is getting louder.
The government will consider establishing a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to look into allegations of judicial impropriety, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
“I am not in the position to say anything if there will be an RCI. We will study the proposal first,” he said in Kuala Lumpur, today.
Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer yesterday filed an affidavit alleging judicial misconduct in the past and calling for an RCI into the cases.
The call for an inquiry was backed by the National Patriots Association (Patriot) and Lawyers for Liberty, which said it is the only way to find out if the sitting judge is speaking the truth.
“Even if it brings shame to our nation, in general, and the judiciary, in particular, and however painful the process of uncovering the truth may be, we have to be brave and welcome the RCI.
“Only then, after the truth is known, lessons are learned and remedial actions are taken, can our nation and society be truly exorcised of a haunted past.
“Patriot asks members of the judiciary who are untainted to be brave, and that all Malaysians stand in unity to face this painful episode,” said Patriot president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji in a statement on Friday (Feb 15).
Hamid filed the affidavit in support of lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo’s application to declare the chief justice had failed to act on cases of judicial interference.
Hamid said in the sworn statement that the judges in the Federal Court are “largely tainted”.
Among his explosive allegations are that senior members of the judiciary had aided private parties to defraud the government.
He also used the term “judicial rowdies” and “hit squad” to describe the judges who had helped to ensure that the court decisions swing the way of the government of the day.
Two such cases he named were Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal at the Court of Appeal in his sodomy case and PKR politician Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad’s freedom of assembly case.
“This is continuing unabated, even after the change of government, as there is sufficient material to purportedly say top judges are continuing to mislead the public by conniving not to expose judicial crimes,” he said in his affidavit.
Sangeet, who had filed a suit against Chief Justice Richard Malanjum, has today urged him and the government to address the latest allegation made by Hamid’s affidavit in her case.
In a statement today, Sangeet said that the affidavit provides detailed information regarding various incidences of judicial interferences, including in her late father Karpal Singh’s sedition case at the Court of Appeal in 2016.
She also agreed with fellow lawyer Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla that Hamid should now be accorded protection for his safety following the shocking revelations.
“The current administration and the CJ must immediately address the alarming revelations made by Justice Hamid. Failure to do so will speak for itself.
“The issues plaguing in the Malaysian judiciary which have long been wilfully ignored are now public. Stakeholders, especially the Pakatan Harapan government must not renegade on their duty to address the crisis,” she said.
Sangeet also criticised the Malaysian Bar and said that despite serving the cause papers to her case, the Bar president had regretfully remained silent on such a vital issue involving the integrity of the Malaysian judiciary.
“The Malaysian Bar must take a stand on this matter,” she added.
She further described Hamid’s move to affirm the affidavit as a bold move.
Earlier report: Feb 14, Brave COA Judge’s Explosive Affidavit: Top Judges Tainted