Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mahathir Hits Back At Judge Chin

Mahathir Hits Back At Judge Chin

18 June, 2008

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has finally come out of his corner to hit back at Justice Ian Chin’s scathing remarks against the former prime minister. He posted his comments under the heading “Ian Chin’s Great Revelation” and immediately chalked up 104 responses from his readers with one telling the good doctor that his blog has reached the two million mark.

“I have not commented earlier on Justice Dato Ian Chin's (Chin J) exposé about my misdeeds because I needed time to recall events which happened more than a decade ago and to find documents which may give credibility to my explanations,” Mahathir blogged.

Chin had accused Dr Mahathir during his term as prime minister of giving a “veiled threat” against judges who did not fall into line with dismissal and interfering with the judiciary.

“I am grateful that some judges and ex-judges have refuted what Chin J said about my threatening judges. The Singapore Straits Times (not my favourite paper) seems more willing than Malaysian papers to report how Chin J's colleagues were stunned by his statements.”

“One Court of Appeal judge told the Straits Times, ‘I asked my brother judge who was on the bench with me this morning whether he remembered the incident, and he asked me the same’. Neither of them did. Nor did retired senior judges Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah, Tan Sri Lamin Yunus and Datuk Shaik Daud Ismail, who were quoted in the New Straits Times,” Mahathir said.

About Ian Chin’s claims of a “thinly veiled threat” to remove judges, Dr M again relied on the Straits Times report which said, “Several judges have since disputed his version of the event”.

He went on to say those contacted by the Straits Times “did not remember him (the ex-PM) issuing a threat to sack judges who did not take his view”.

“It seems that except for Chin J, no one else heard the threat. I attended only one judges conference and I remember I talked on two subjects- the mandatory death sentence on drug traffickers and (excessive) litigation. At no time did I issue any threat against the judges.”

As for Ian Chin’s claim that judges who disagreed with Mahathir were packed off to a boot camp, Mahathir explained that these were work camps and participants included civil servants, corporate leaders, politicians and university staff.

“I suppose judges also attended,” he said.

“I was told by a judge who was in the same batch as Chin J that he absconded before the course was over. Perhaps he did not like getting up early and washing his own dirty plates. The course clearly did not have a positive effect on him.”

Dr Mahathir also hit out at de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim, Bar Council chairman Ambiga Sreenivasan and DAP MP for Jelutong Karpal Singh.

“(They) immediately assumed that Chin J was telling the truth. Zaid even went so far as to say this is normal, as if I threatened judges all the time,” Mahathir said.

Expect more to come from Dr M: “I will be writing a little more on Ian Chin J so that the public will become more acquainted with him. Suffice for me to say for the present that Chin J has a police report against him for hiding his past when hearing a certain case.”

True to form, Dr M signed off by saying: “The public can then pass judgment on me. But of course if I have to be charged by Karpal Singh, the ardent supporter of Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, that is fine. The world will then know what kind of Government we have.” (MySinchew)

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