Brave COA Judge’s Explosive Affidavit: Top Judges Tainted

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Fears for Hamid’s safety, calls for added protection by government.

Shocking revelations:

  • Top judicial members feared being reprimanded when PH took power but with appointment of COA president and chief justice – said to be members of the old regime – it’s business as usual and nothing more than moving “from one kleptocratic regime to another”
  • Senior judges involved in supporting the constitutional crime by top judges
  • Past and present apex judges who knew of wrongdoings and did nothing
  • Top judges continue to mislead public so as not to expose judicial crimes
  • Top judges aiding private parties to cheat the government
  • Call to provide added protection to whistleblowing judge, immediately set up of RCI

Judges in Malaysia’s apex court are largely tainted, said Court of Appeal justice Hamid Sultan Abu Backer in an explosive 65-page affidavit filed today.

He said the group feared being reprimanded when Pakatan Harapan (PH) took federal power in the 14th general election, but now, such concerns have evaporated.

“There are judges of integrity, as well as competence, in the Court of Appeal and High Court, including judicial commissioners.

“I cannot say the same for many of the apex court judges of the past and present, as they knew of wrongdoings and did not lift a finger to stop the massacre in the administration of justice. 

“In fact, some of the senior ones were directly or indirectly involved in fixing the coram and had full knowledge of constitutional as well as judicial misconduct.”

He said these judges either stayed silent or supported the constitutional crime committed by Federal Court justices for selfish interests, such as securing promotions, thus, destroying the integrity of the justice system.

International Malaysia Law Conference

“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.”

The affidavit is in support of lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo’s application to declare that Chief Justice Richard Malanjum had failed in his duty to complete investigations into two widely publicised cases of judicial interference.

Hamid said the affidavit was made in accordance with the oath of office he had taken to uphold the Federal Constitution.

Hamid is known for speaking his mind.

At an international law conference in Kuala Lumpur last year, Hamid had said he was chided by a top judge, in the presence of other judges, for delivering a dissenting judgment in the Indira Gandhi unilateral conversion case.

Malanjum had earlier filed an affidavit in response to Sangeet’s suit.

Reportedly, lawyers say it would be interesting now that two judges had filed conflicting affidavits. This means that lawyers in the case can apply to the court to cross-examine Hamid and Malanjum.

Sangeet, the daughter of the late DAP stalwart Karpal Singh, had lodged a police report after lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla revealed that there was interference in Karpal’s sedition appeal in the Court of Appeal.

She filed an originating summons against the chief justice’s office last month, alleging that he failed to act on alleged judicial interference in her father’s sedition appeal and the case involving the unilateral conversion of M Indira Gandhi’s children.

Malanjum had said the judiciary had to suspend investigations into the allegations of judicial interference in Karpal’s sedition appeal because of an ongoing police investigation and the pending appeal before the Federal Court.

He had said the probe into Karpal’s matter could also not be carried out as the three Court of Appeal judges were still serving.

Regarding the second case, which involved Hamid’s revelation last year, Malanjum had said the investigation could not be carried out for alleged misconduct as the judge in question had retired.

Hamid, in the affidavit, said there is an urgent need for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to look into the state of the judiciary.

He said Malanjum himself is not keen to set up an RCI despite the Bar Council publicly demanding it twice.

He said after the elections, the most senior Court of Appeal judge told him about the wrongdoings committed by top judicial members and justices.

The judge revealed that in respect of Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal at the Court of Appeal, the court coram was called to the chambers of top judges regularly and briefed on what to do, said Hamid.

“There are more that I would like to say in relation to this, but I will reserve it for the RCI.”

In another case, he said, a top judge meddled in judicial matters within a week of GE14.

“Some top judicial members were extremely stressed and worried that the new government would take action against many of them, including tribunalising them.

“In fact, one month before the elections, during a monthly lunch organised at an Italian restaurant in April, a group of judges sitting at my table, comprising about 10 judges and one top judge, were worried that if the opposition wins, they would be tribunalised or asked to leave.”

He said these judges were happy when members of the old regime, in particular, the Court of Appeal president and chief justice, were appointed.

“The talk among members of the judiciary is that they were appointed because of the influence of an ex-minister they served earlier.

“They all knew it was business as usual, and all the fear of tribunalisation disappeared overnight. Now, they are looking forward to top positions upon vacancy.

“I see it as a movement from one kleptocratic regime to another, and nothing more.”

He said this could be seen in the move by some quarters to push for judges’ retirement age to be increased to 70.

Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and chief justice Md Raus Sharif, whose positions were deemed “unconstitutional” by several groups, quit on July 31 last year.

Ahmad Maarop was then made the new Court of Appeal president and Malanjum was then appointed as Raus’ successor.

Meanwhile, Haniff has tonight called on de facto Law Minister Liew Vui Kong to provide added protection to Hamid following his revelations in a tell-all affidavit.

Haniff who has been calling for an RCI on the judiciary and the Attorney General Chambers since August last year also reinvigorated his call to the government to immediately set up the RCI.

First and foremost, the law minister should now provide extra security to Hamid as I, like others, fear for his safety following the revelation.

“Never before has a judge had been brave enough to come forward to reveal this and also reveal that the judiciary has been aiding private parties to defraud the government. 

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“These are all serious allegations which have to be looked into by the present government.

“However, the government has to provide extra security for Hamid to ensure his safety following the revelation. That is first and foremost,” he told Malaysiakini.

Haniff said he knew that Hamid, as a Court of Appeal judge, presently has a bodyguard but this would not be sufficient following the revelations made.

In the affidavit, among the matters revealed by Hamid was that the judiciary aided private entities through nominees of politicians to create contracts with the government, only to have the government break them so that the private parties can take the government to court and claim compensation.

Haniff, who had represented Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for several cases in the past, urged the government to start drafting the terms of reference for an RCI and to extend it beyond the judiciary.

“When I called for an RCI last year, I called for one for the judiciary and the AG Chambers. Following Hamid’s revelation, this may as well be expanded to government departments and ministries,” he said.

The lawyer also confirmed that Hamid was his source of his information when he revealed late last year, that a senior judge had ordered the Court of Appeal bench to uphold the conviction of Karpal for sedition in 2016.

“I can confirm that Hamid met me as he stated in Para 99 of his affidavit regarding the Karpal case.

“I was informed by Hamid about this in the meeting held on Aug 20 between 9.30pm and 11pm,” he said, adding that subsequently, he made a Facebook posting the next day.

Following the post, police reports were made leading to Haniff being questioned by the police.

“Even Chief Justice Richard Malanjum has written to me about the allegation made in the Karpal case,” he said, but added that he would only reveal everything if an RCI or a special task force is formed.

Prior to Hamid’s expose, in the early 1990s a former judge also revealed in a poison pen letter and pictures of the then Lord President Eusoffe Chin holidaying in New Zealand with his family as well as with lawyer VK Lingam.

That had been the subject of an RCI during Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s premiership with the videotape over judicial impropriety depicting Lingam talking to a senior judge.