Former Lord President speaks out. After nearly 20 years, former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas breaks his silence and challenged an aide to Dr Mahathir to call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate a 1988 Tribunal that dismissed him in absentia for alleged misconduct.
Salleh, who hardly talks about his dismissal these days, is reacting to an article by lawyer Matthias Chang, who served as political secretary to Dr Mahathir towards the end of his tenure as PM. The article "Tun Salleh: Guilty or not guilty for Judicial Misconduct?" was posted on the blog (but not in Dr M's blog) and by Malaysia Today.
The following is his Salleh's statement which he issued to Rocky's Bru:What did Matthias Chang say that riled Salleh Abas? Read here."Since (Matthias Chang) doubts my innocence, (he) should devote his activities towards getting a government agreement to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate into the circumstances of my dismissal and the suspension of 5 other Judges that led to the eventual sacking of 2 of these Judges.
"The Royal Commission of Inquiry should call as witnesses, among others, the following main players in the 1988 event:
"1. Dr Mahathir Mohamad
2. The former Chief Secretary to the Government
3. The former Attorney-General Abu Talib Othman
4. Hamid Omar, who chaired the Tribunal and who succeed Salleh after his sacking
5. Other members of the two Tribunals
6. Tan Sri Haidar (chairman of the 2007 RCI into VK Lingam's tape, who testified at the 1988 Tribunal)
7. The surviving Judges who were suspended/sacked by the Tribunals."
As Matthias says, "You be the judge".
Matthias Responds to Tun Salleh's Challenge
[Matthias e-mailed this to me around 7.30pm last night. It first appeared as a comment in the comment box]."I was just informed by Rocky that Tun Salleh has issued a challenge to me in response to my article which was published in MALAYSIA TODAY and Bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com
I immediately visited Rocky’s blog to read the challenge and to say that I was most disappointed in Tun Salleh’s challenge, is an understatement.
He asked me to demand from the government to establish a Royal Commission to investigate into his dismissal. Why should I? I hold the view that the Tribunal had every reason to hold that Tun Salleh had misconducted himself as per the charges.
Is it my responsibility to call for a Royal Commission when a Tribunal convened by King himself found him guilty of all the charges that was proffered against him? He should be the one who should “lobby” the government if he feels strongly that he has been unjustly victimised!
In anticipation of Tun Salleh’s reply that he did not demand a Royal Commission during Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure as Prime Minister because it would not receive a favourable response, my query to Tun Salleh is:
Why have you not demanded a Royal Commission after Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad retired in October 2003, and thereafter in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and only now in 2008?
You are legally trained and held the highest judicial office. So, if anyone knows about rights and legal remedies, it must be you. All these years why have you not commenced any legal proceedings to establish, as you have alleged, that you have been wrongfully dismissed? You had a team of senior lawyers advising you. What was their legal advice?
It is a pity that Tun Salleh does not realize that the powers that be have used his dismissal to prop-up the Badawi regime after the 12th General Elections fiasco. Tun Salleh is a mere pawn in this political wayang kulit orchestrated by the spin doctors of the Badawi regime.
In my article, I posed certain questions to Tun Salleh and demanded to know his answers.
Why is Tun Salleh avoiding the issues posed by my questions and diverting the issues by asking me to “lobby” for a Royal Commission?
Tun Salleh should be transparent first and answer my questions.
1) Did Tun write two letters to the Agong? What was the content of the first letter?
2) Did Tun advise his fellow judges, especially the five judges who supported him, the contents of the first letter?
3) If Tun did, what was their response?
4) If Tun did not advise the judges, what were Tun’s reasons for the cover-up?
ROCKY, I am truly disappointed in you. You have read my article and having done so, have you posed the questions to Tun Salleh?
After all, you are assisting in Tun Salleh’s memoirs. Surely, you should be equally interested in the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Please pose this response in your Blog.
25th May 2008 7.25pm
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Tun Salleh dares Matthias to call for Inquiry into his dismissal
updates, 130PM/26-5-08: I've amended the heading for accuracy (original headline was Tun Salleh calls for Inquiry into his dismissal). Also, see Matthias Chang's response below the original posting.
At 5:32 pm