LETTER

Chief Justice would have retired by then

Hamdan Ibrahim

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

I refer to Malaysiakini report Lingam tape: Name source or face jail .

Bravo to those lawyers and laymen who walked from the Palace of Justice to the Prime Minster's Department to hand over a memorandum calling for the government to set up a royal commission to look into the Lingam tape controversy.

While the government has preempted the Bar Council's suggestion to set up a royal commission by setting up its own independent panel of three eminent persons to look into the scandal, it is a little too late to put a lid on public anger at the decline of the judicial independence in this country.

It seems ironical that while in Pakistan lawyers are protesting against their chief justice being removed, the opposite seems to be happening here with lawyers wanting alleged misconduct by the present chief justice to be investigated.

At long last decent Malaysians are making a stand on all that is wrong with the government. From Terengganu to Putrajaya, the people are not afraid of being arrested or harassed by the police in making their voices heard.

We shouldn't let the government of the day trample on our freedom of speech. Our leaders should have the moral compass not to indulge in activities which can besmirch their image as well as that of the high office that they hold. Those holding high posts in this country should be a role model for others to follow and not make use of their positions to accumulate ill-gotten wealth at the expense of the public.

There is something definitely rotten in this country if our judicial independence is being compromised by a chief justice who has been practically caught red-handed if all the evidence contained in the Lingam tape so far is true. He, of all people, should know better.

By the time the independent panel probing the matter prepares its report for the government, the chief justice would have retired. One can bet to one's last ringgit that the panel will find him not guilty of anything due to lack of evidence and he will go on quietly to enjoy his pension. Life goes on like before.

Sorry folks, I have lived long enough in this country to know that the rich and famous always escape from their dirty deeds while the poor and weak - who don't have powerful political figures to protect them - are always subject to the severity of the law.

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