After an almost comical ride to the top post in
In less than two weeks after occupying the country’s top judiciary position, in his first speech in his capacity as Chief Justice, he vowed to get tough of errant judges who destroy the reputation of the institution.
“And for those in the practice of toadying, I say ‘stop it’. This small group have failed to fulfill their responsibilities and have affected the image of our institution. If they are being dishonest, they are also being irresponsible.”
The above is a few extracted lines from his speech, in which, he appeared to have acknowledged the rot in the institution, caused by certain corrupt judges. He did not mince his words, and neither did he attempt to deny the true color of the judiciary system. Although it was a promising speech, many of us Malaysians were still very much skeptical about it. To us, he was merely playing to the gallery. History did not favor him either.
Two major judgments were delivered last Friday, one in Raja Petra’s habeas corpus application, and the other in the prosecutors’ application to have the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial be transferred to the High Court. Both cases were politically motivated, and surprisingly, both cases handed the Government knock-outs. In previous times, we rarely witnessed the Government been given a blow in judgments, but on the 7th of November 2008, many of us pictured the Government on their knees giving out blow j***. Yes, it was a double blow to them.
Now, how does this fit in? We practically have an UMNO man as the Chief Justice, but the courts did not rule in favor of them. While it is understandable that it is not possible for all judgments to go in favor of UMNO even if their very own man occupies the seat, the vital and highly critical ones would’ve surely swung towards their side. Raja
Should the credit for these court verdicts, which most of us consider just, go solely to the judges? Did they stand strong and weather the pressure and threats that came in their way for the sake of justice? If they did so, well done and thank you.
Did Tan Sri Zaki Azmi really practice what he preached in his opening speech by ensuring a free trial for all without exerting any pressure upon the judges? We wouldn’t really know, would we? If he did so, well done and thank you too.
However, the million dollar question would arise if Tan Sri Zaki Azmi did conduct himself professionally to ensure a free trial; why on earth did he do that? Well, it could be because of all the negative remarks that have been piled on him, and he sees this as an opportunity to clear his name even if it is at the expense of irking the wrath of those in UMNO.
But, there is an alternative answer to it, which is probably the one we are looking for. Ironically, it is the spicier answer. If we go back to the drawing pad, we would see the answer at the very beginning. It lies with Zaki Azmi’s history of being an UMNO man. It is no secret that Najib, along with Muhyiddin, have been the crafters that planned Abdullah Badawi’s early exit. Abdullah Badawi had no choice but to concede as the tides were moving strongly against him. Now, in his final few months, he has got nothing to lose. Until March 2009, power is something that he can still execute. Vendetta, perhaps? Tan Sri Zaki Azmi was appointed as the Chief Justice during Abdullah Badawi’s tenure as a premier, which only establishes the fact that they have good ties between them. Through Zaki Azmi, Abdullah Badawi has a chance to get back at Najib and give him a beating of his life for being ‘disloyal’. Raja
But then again, is that who Zaki Azmi really is?
Whoever he may be, let us hope that during his term as Chief Justice, judgments would be delivered without fear and favor. Good judgments are not defined by the degree in which it favors us; it is defined by the ability of the court to interpret laws in a fair manner without any interference. For that purpose, and also for the sake of justice, I hope that these decisions favored Anwar and Raja Petra because the courts were acting impartially on the grounds of evidences presented before them, and not because they simply happened to be part of a political ploy.
by Argus Eye.
also published in Malaysia Today- http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/14787/84/