Save the Seal October 3, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, History, Huh?!, Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Southeast Asia.
To questions on PKR’s claims of conflicts of interest – Haidar on his role in the 1988 judicial crisis and Lee on his public and private positions, namely the NS Council chairperson which had its own scandals involving the death of its trainees, and his position as a Media Prima Sdn Bhd director – Haidar said he could not stop people from questioning the panel members’ ability.“Our conscience is clear. Anybody can make allegations,” he said, adding that he “did not want to enter into arguments” when asked on his role in the Salleh’s sacking. (The Sun)
When I was a wee lil’ thing, way way back in 1988, I found myself at the Bangsar night market in front of a table with petitions and badges for sale.
I bought two. One was bright yellow, about the independence of the judiciary with the Bar Council logo; the other was a plain white button badge.
“Save the Seal”
I had thought, at that time, it was some cute environmental message (I was a kid, lar), and those lawyers had a thing for fluffy warm causes.
It was only a couple of years later, in a faraway land, when I read May Day for Justice and realised, it was THE SEAL.
The evidence of Encik Haidar, the then Chief Registrar, shows that as early as 8.30 am on the same day the Acting Lord President had anticipated the possibility of Tun Salleh’s counsel making the urgent application to the Supreme Court and had instructed Encik Haidar that the Registry of the Supreme Court was not to take any action on any such application without first taking directions from him.
Later at about 12 noon, upon being informed by Encik Haidar that an urgent application had been made to the Supreme Court, the Acting Lord President instructed him that the Court staff should not be involved and the Court room be not made available to the five Judges. Tan Sri Hamid bin Omar further expressly instructed Encik Haidar to keep the Supreme Court seal under lock and key.
(Source: Bar Council of Malaysia press statement on the report of the Tribunal which sacked two Supreme Court Judges and reinstated three others. The statement was made by the then Bar Council chairman, Raja Aziz Addruse, on 9 Oct 1988)
And K. Das, in May Day for Justice wrote:-
…that Saturday’s events were not those one associates with courts of law in a democratic country. Locking the doors of a court and concealing the court seal is something too wild to contemplate outside a dictatorship or a soap opera.
Former Justice George Seah also wrote on the quick ascent of certain judges:-
Immediately after the removable of Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and senior Supreme Court Judges Tan Sri Suleiman and Datuk George Seah in 1988, Tan Sri Haidar was appointed a Judge of the High Court in Borneo. He returned to the High Court in Malaysia and was elevated to the Court of Appeal and subsequently to the Federal Court before his appointment as Chief Judge of the High Court in Malaysia.
Once again – What was his role in the 1988 Judicial Crisis?