“...Dr Mahathir for what he had done and for what he is trying to do is a devil incarnate but to those who had suffered under his hands, even that description my be rather complimentary ...”This brought about an immediate response from Dr Mahathir who had to call a press conference at his Petronas office on the 86th FLoor of KLCC to make a strtling revelation on Justice Ian Chin. (To read press statement read further.)
On the same day, Tun's former political secretary, lawyer Matthias Cnang and Independent Parlimentarian Dato Ibrahim Ali made a police report at the Jalan Travers, Bangsar police station. (Read further on the press statement on the police report.)
Last week, Matthias had challenged Ian Chin for a debate and cite him for contempt of court in his own court. The latest heard is Matthias will sue Ian Chin for calling him a "lapdog". (For further development, keep track on Matthias Chang's blog Fastforward.)
Dato Ibrahim who was then Deputy Minister in charge of law at the Prime Minister's Department said, "Judge Ian Chin had contested as a political candidate and failed. His judgements on political matters are therefore questionable."
The revelation on Ian Chin constitute a judicial misconduct. Will Zaid Ibrahim initiate a Royal Commission or Tribunal? Dr Mahathir doesn't think the Government would do so.
Zaid had committed to a stand that there will be no more firing of judges at the controversial Bar Council dinner. With a case so clear, will he stoop to politics and forego his commitment to his legal reform?
As it is, words are Zaid is frustrated with the rejection he faced on his judicial reform plan by the cabinet members and UMNO grassroots. Will he quit or will he stay on?
PRESS STATEMENT BY YABhg TUN DR MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
Police report and legal documents on Ian Chin
This statement was issued yesterday, June 26, 2008 in response to Judge Ian Chin's allegations towards Dr Mahathir
1. On June 10, The Borneo Post reported Judge Ian Chin's "explosive judicial disclosure", about how judges were threatened and sent to Boot Camps by the former Prime Minister.
2. He made these revelations prior to hearing a case, apparently to avoid being accused of bias.
3. What he did not reveal is that there is a police report against him for breaches of Judge's Code of Ethics in hearing a case in which he has a personal interest. He presided on a case involving Dato Syed Kechik without revealing that he believed Syed Kechik was responsible for detaining his father and brother 20 years before.
4. Chin joined Party Berjaya and lost twice. One of the objectives listed in Party Berjaya's manifesto was to expel Syed Kechik from Sabah. (Syed Kechik akan dikeluarkan dari Sabah). As a party member he must know Berjaya's hatred for Syed Kechik. This alone should have resulted in him excusing himself from hearing the case.
5. However, both the Claimants and Defendants in the hearing in 1999 did not seek to change the judge, believing that his being a Party Berjaya candidate would not affect his judgement.
6. It was only later that the defendants learnt about the detentions of his father and brother by the Tun Mustafa Government and that Ian Chin believed Syed Kechik was instrumental in getting his father and brother arrested.
7. John R Cherryman Q.C., lawyer for Dato Syed Kechik (DSK) in a written opinion after Chin J's ruling of September 2, 2004, said inter alia "Looking at these matters in retrospect there emerges a pattern redolent of bias".
8. Cherryman went on to say; "Knowing what we do now, the inference was that the Judge (Chin J) was throughout determined to have revenge against DSK (and corporate Defendants) for his (Dato Syed Kechik's) alleged part in the detention of his family members.
9. When Party Berjaya won the State elections in April 1976, the Berjaya Government cancelled Syarikat Banita's (belonging to Syed Kechik) timber license and on 1st October 1976 published Gazette Notification No 671 on compulsory acquisition of the whole of Zara Project Land of 2,452.74 acres also belonging to Syed Kechik.
10. On 7th September 1977 Banita filed a civil suit against the State Government and on 28th September 1977 Zara filed for the adjudication of compensation claim in respect of compulsory acquisition of its land for "public purpose".
11. The Sabah Government through the Sabah Foundation, Suiswan Sdn Bhd and Seranum Sdn Bhd filed counter claims against DSK, Zara Sdn Bhd and Banita Sdn Bhd.
12. For about 20 years the Plaintiffs and their Solicitors went to "sleep". No court action was taken.
13. Then on October 29th 1996 Justice Tee Ah Siang heard the case involving Originating Summons No 69 of 1977. The judge ordered the payment of RM40,920,011.00 in capital compensation by the State Government to Zara Sdn Bhd with 6 % per annum interest from 20th December 1976 to date of settlement.
14. Then on 6th January 1997, Chin J granted ex-parte Mareva Injunction Orders against the Defendants in suit 351 and 352 in response to the Plaintiffs (Sabah Government) application.
15. The very next day Chin J instructed Registrar to set hearing of Suit 351 on 9th January 1997, i.e. three days after he granted injunction against the Defendants.
16. On 9th April 1997 he delivered judgement on Strike Out Actions, refusing to grant order in favour of Defendants (Zara Sdn Bhd).
17. On 5th February 1999 a joint hearing of Suits 351 and 352 was held before Chin J at the Kota Kinabalu High Court. On 6th September 1999 Chin J delivered his judgement in which he stated on pgs 122-125: "Yes, DSK was from West Malaysia sent to Sabah supposedly to help Sabah politically. Unfortunately, he introduced to Sabah, especially to the then politicians of Sabah, a way to get rich, very rich at that, quickly by way which I have already concluded are wrong in law."
18. Chin J also said in his judgement that "DSK wielded too much power for anyone to believe that any bureaucrat would oppose him". He concluded with dismissing with cost the application of the 2nd Defendant to strike out the injunction.
19. It became obvious that Chin J was biased against DSK. Yet he did not reveal his father's and brother's arrest during the time of Tun Mustafa's Government and his belief that Syed Kechik who was adviser to Tun Mustafa was responsible for this arrest when hearing the case concerned.
20. Following this a police report was made by Pengarah, Zara Sdn Bhd on June 16, 2005 on "Salahlaku Hakim Datuk Ian Chin Hon Chong". (refer to salinan report and 1st page of police report)
21. The report went from Police to Chief Justice Malaysia to Ministers, to the Anti Corruption Agency, to Suhakam (Human Rights Commission) and even to the Prime Minister. No action was taken by any of them.
22. In the meanwhile the cases (DSK, Zara and Banita) went to the Federal Court and a judgement was made on March 25, 2008 and this is what the Federal Court has to say of Chin J's High Court judgement in the Zara and Banita suits.
23. "Without evidence or justification, the learned Judge wrongly held that DSK made these decisions. We find that the learned Judge's findings were based on unjustified inferences, speculation, his own preconceived impressions and prejudice..." and; "We find the learned Judge's attack on the credbility of SSA (Syed Salem Al-Bukhary , the younger brother of DSK - who represented his incapacitated brother) as unwarranted and does not stand up to examination having regard to the extremely prejudiced view he held about SSA's conduct as apparent in his judgment."
24. This Federal Court judgement is likely to come in support of the alleged "Salahlaku" by Chin J in the Police Report by Zara Sdn Bhd.
25. Action is now more likely to be taken against Chin J for breach of the ethical code of judges when he did not reveal his personal interest in the case he was hearing and not recuse himself.
26. His "explosive judicial disclosures" of June 7, 2008 came shortly after the Federal Courts judgment on Mar 25th 2008 and appears to be a desperate attempt ro deflect the legitimate complain against him by the Defendants of Civil Suits Nos 351 and 352 of 1979 which the Federal Courts' decision seem to support.
27. The reference to the threats by the former Prime Minister and his being sent to a Boot Camp had nothing to do with the case he was about to hear or his previous hearing of a case in which he had personal interest. Refer to statement by Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, former Attorney-General and current chairman of Suhakam.
28. It looks as if he was trying to curry favour with the Government by demonising the previous Prime Minister whom everyone knows is the bete noir of the present Government.
29. And he was quite right because Government Ministers and the Prime Minister rushed to accept his story as absolutely true. But other judges had refused to endorse his statement about threats by the Prime Minister casting doubt on its veracity. He now "slams a fellow judge in court" but he has not been able to condemn the other judges who also disagreed with him. The Boot Camp was of course not a Boot Camp at all. It was Kursus Tata Negara which had been attended by thousands of civil servants, business executives and politicians, without any complaints.
30. It will be interesting to see whether the Government would set up a tribunal to examine the charges against Ian Chin J.
31. I suspect that it will not. And so this judge who obviously breached The Judges Code of Ethics by "being a judge in his own cause" will simply get away with his unethical behaviour while presiding over a case.
32. The public should question how a person such as Ian Chin J should have been recommended to become a judge. I cannot remember recommending him. He is a disgrace to the judiciary and to the legal profession.
33. Now Chin has changed his accusation of "veiled threat" to "the former premier did not say he would remove judges through a tribunal in those exact words but conveyed the threat by "dropping words to that effect here and there". I wonder what the words are. He will now be thinking and cooking up more stories.
34. This reflects the character of the man who presides over our courts and dispenses "justice". He makes use of his position as a judge and the courts to take revenge for alleged actions against members of his family.
PRESS STATEMENT BY MATTHIAS CHANG ON
THE POLICE REPORT MADE AGAINST JUSTICE DATUK IAN CHIN
On 9th and 24th June 2008, Justice Datuk Ian Chin made two statements in Open Court using language unbecoming of a Judge and highly defamatory allegations against the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. His statements have been contradicted by two judges, one a former Court of Appeal Judge and another serving judge.
I am of the view that the said Judge has committed contempt of court in that his behaviour has scandalized the court and brought the entire judiciary into disrepute.
What is most startling is that since 9th June 2008, the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of Malaya and the Chief Judge for Sarawak and Sabah have remained silent regarding the conduct of the said Justice Datuk Ian Chin.
I believe that the aforesaid judges, other than the President of the Court of Appeal were present at the Judges’ Conference in 1997. They could confirm or deny the allegations made by Justice Datuk Ian Chin.
If Justice Datuk Ian Chin’s statements have no basis whatsoever, surely he has misconducted himself as a judge. In the circumstances, the public need to know whether the Chief Justice intends to take any action against Justice Datuk Ian Chin, and why he has failed to comment on this matter.
I am most disappointed with the conduct of the Chief Justice and I hope that in due course, a statement will be forthcoming from his office.
26th June 2008