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Fwd: MGG Pillai - CJ retires Justice
By web aNtu

4/8/2000 11:03 pm Fri

Subject: [sangkancil] [MGG] Justice In Jeopardy: Retiring Chief Justice Retires Justice

THE CHIEF JUSTICE, Tun Eusoff Chin, whose justicial worldview would damn a magistrate starting out in the judicial and legal service, is determined to retire justice before he does in December. The damning indictment the former deputy prime minister, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, delivered on Tuesday, 01 August 00, to request his recusal in his appeal to the Federal Court to order the Prime Minister to testify as his witness was, as one has come to expect, rejected. Tun Eusoff did not challenge any of the a#sertions in open court, did not cite Dato' Seri Anwar for contempt, as he no doubt would have if his counsel had a#serted a tenth of what was. As expected, this damning litany of injustices, political interference, favouritism, though it reflected the injustice one has come to expect from the Malaysian judiciary under Tun Eusoff, was not damning enough to have him recuse. But since he did not rebut, one must a#sume the truth of every allegation, some until now rumours. Unless Tun Eusoff does, in open court or by affidavit, or be subjected to an examination of these before a constitutionally appointed tribunal to examine his conduct, he is tainted as a judge, with every judgement of his suspect. If Dato' Seri Anwar uttered falsehoods in his "J'Accuse" peroration in court, Tun Eusoff should have him charged for falsehoods, contempt of court and worse. But could he?

Dato' Seri Anwar's strategically brilliant trap, making a stand on an issue, in the present political climate, which made scant difference to his predicament, all but destroyed Tun Eusoff's judicial reputation. He went in for the kill the next day, Wednesday, refusing to proceed with his appeal, as he would not in any hearing before Tun Eusoff. The chief justice blinked, pleading with Dato' Seri Anwar's counsel, in chambers, to return and argue the appeal, even suggesting they could as "amicus curae" -- a strange turn of events; he resisted even the Bar Council appearing as one during M.G.G. Pillai's Federal Court appeal in the Tan Sri Vincent Tan libel case. Dato' Seri Anwar would have none of it. He dispensed with his lawyers because two were cited for contempt in the High Court, and one ordered jailed, for filing an affidavit that raised eyebrows about the administration of justice. As his predecessor, Tun Hamid Omar, Tun Eusoff wriggles in deathly embarra#sment, his judicial reputation in tatters, his stint as chief justice even murkier than his predecessor's, and is the price he pays for his role in the Tun Salleh Abas affair and the subsequent dereliction and derailment of justice in the judiciary. Indeed, he could not, in the past two years, have any Federal court judges appointed. The Conference of Rulers blackballed the four he wanted: Judge Gopal Sri Ram and Judge Mokhtar Sidin of the Court of Appeal, earlier; and, at its last session, Judge R.K. Nathan and Judge Low Hop Bing of the High Court.

Dato' Seri Anwar cited five cases to bolter his request to the chief justice to recuse: The Ayer Molek; The M.G.G. Pillai; The Dato Param Cumaraswamy; The Lim Guan Eng; The Visu Sinnadurai cases. Any would have damned the chief justice of the day. Each shook the foundations of justice. The test for judicial independence and impartiality these days is for a judge to a#sert he is both independent and impartial. This is now affirmed in the Federal Court; Dato' Seri Anwar's is only the latest; Tun Eusoff would not recuse, in the M.G.G. Pillai appeal, though he did a few months later, in the Param Cumaraswamy preliminary appeal, when he promised he would not sit in any case his holiday companion, Dato' V.K. Lingam, appeared. He should have then ordered a rehearing of the M.G.G. Pillai appeal, recusing himself, instead of writing the unanimous judgement itself 30 months later after having earlier said in open court the three judges would write separate judgements. Anyone outside the closy cliquishness of judges Tun Eusoff surrounds himself should expect short shrift if the party he and his coterie is friendly with or beholden to wants him humiliated and punished. Business men do not want their commercial disputes adjudicated before a Malaysian judge; the contracts they sign these days have provisions for arbitration, usually in foreign countries, should a dispute arise.

Much is made of the Prime Minister's statement that Tun Eusoff's term is extended for six months after he reached 65 on 19 June to clear outstanding cases. Dato' Seri Anwar a#serts this includes his continued judicial incarceration. But this is the Prime Minister's shorthand that he washes his hand of the man, that he is on his own and can expect no sympathey should he stumble. Extensions to Tun Hamid Omar, Tan Sri Elyas Omar as Mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Rahim Noor as Inspector-General of Police and, now, Tun Eusoff quickened their spectacular fall. Tun Eusoff should not have asked for an extension, indeed should have retired earlier when the infamous photographs of his holiday in New Zealand, which M.G.G. Pillai distributed during his appeal when Tun Eusoff refused to recuse. Both chief justices fell because of their inexplicable connexions with two Johnny-Come-Lately business men. The Anwar indictment brings this sorry episode to a climax. His application to have the chief justice recuse is all over the Internet, with copies printed and distributed widely. He represents much of what is wrong in the administration of justice in Malaysia. The malaise in the Malaysian judiciary, weighted down by the excesses of injustice of the Tun Eusoff Chin years, would remain until after his influence is expunged from its consciousness. With no ifs and buts.

M.G.G. Pillai

Link Reference : Newskini