Tan Sri Zaki Azmi is not a stranger to controversy but his intended appointment as the President of the the Court of Appeal could reach scandalous proportions, based on what prominent human rights lawyers Malik Imtiaz and Haris Ibrahim are arguing on their blogs.
At Disquiet, Malik, who is president of Hakam, wrote that he has had had the privilege of dealing with Zaki as a lawyer over a period of time, and more recently as a judge, and has always found Zaki to be "courteous, incisive and approachable, key attributes of a good judge".
"His appointment as President is however, notwithstanding, a basis for concern," Malik said.
".. shows that the Government is blind to the crisis that the Judiciary, and consequently the legal system, is in the throes of."
Haris, who runs the popular The People's Parliament blog, is sending another petition to the Agong on the intended appointment of Zaki. In Ampun Tuanku, patik-patik petisyen lagi Haris argued that Zaki is too junior, too close to Umno for comfort, too corporate, and too colourful (which is my word; Haris said Zaki "had previously been embroiled in a very public personal scandal in which he was implicated of destroying documentary evidence, a matter that led to his voluntary resignation from the UMNO discplinary committee for fear of impeaching the integrity of the other members of the said committee".)
My own experience with Zaki was limited to the usual misunderstanding between a newspaper editor and an unhappy subject of a news article that the newspaper has just run. This was when Zaki was sitting on the board of a major rail company. Like Malik, what struck me was how professional and very courteous this man was.