Confirmed: Judiciary not independent September 24, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in "We can do better", Current Affairs, Democracy, Huh?!, Human Rights, International, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Southeast Asia.
This is a most telling statement to date.
In the past, at least the government puts up a facade and employs politically-correct language to soothe one’s apprehension over the state of democracy and the independence of the judiciary.
Today, it has been affirmed that the three fundamental pillars of a democratic society – the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary – are not independent.
Today’s statement, as reported by Malaysiakini, by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department should shock everyone.
“I am his minister. I am the minister in charge of legal affairs. ”
On why Ahmad Fairuz (the Chief Justice) has been evading the media, Nazri said it was because the former is not answerable to the press.
I’m going through all the politically sensitive cases now, the most glaring being the trial of former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in 1998-99, condemn by all and sundry as a ‘kangaroo’ trial.
We find that even back in 1789 after the French Revolution, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen had this concept:- “Any society in which rights are not guaranteed, or in which the separation of powers is not defined, has no constitution.” (Article 16).
About a hundred years on, Lord Acton wrote this much-loved line:-
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” (3 April 1887 in an letter to the Bishop of London, Mandell Creighton).
Then about another century forward in 1988, Malaysia saw the complete dismantling of the independence of the judiciary.
And what we learnt today is:-
The Chief Justice is answerable to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department = Prime Minister.
Think no further.