Malaysia’s great law pretenders

8 October 2007

A crisis in the judiciary brings out the ugly side of lawyers

Ambiga Sreenevasan, Bar Council ChairwomanThere is a saying, “when elephants fight, the grass is trampled.” And so it has been for Malaysia’s disgraced judiciary in the last 20 years. Former premier Mahathir Mohamad in 1988 sacked three senior judges, including his Lord President of the Supreme Court, in an acrimonious fight for control of the law courts. Since then, judges have been relentlessly accused of impropriety and corruption. And the judiciary and lawyers are once again troubled by new charges of delinquent judges and politically brokered judicial appointments.

Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian premier’s grandson doesn’t have his father’s name

1 October 2007

Khairy JamaluddinThe first-born son of Khairy Jamaluddin, son-in-law of Malaysia’s premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, doesn’t carry his father’s name, according to a report in The Star newspaper today.

The full name of the prime minister’s fifth grandson born on 13 September by caesarean section is Jibreil Ali Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

However, the best-selling Malaysian English language newspaper says the name hasn’t been officially announced and Jibreil’s parents are fighting shy of publishing his pictures because they want privacy. Read the rest of this entry »

Waiting for a judicial break

24 September 2007

Palace of JusticeI know many of you are expecting a story from me on the embattled Malaysian judiciary. I can’t publish my story yet because I’m still waiting for a break. At this moment, except for innuendoes, we’ve no confirmation that Mr V K Lingam, the Malaysian lawyer in private practice, was brokering the appointment of judges with the Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim (then the Chief Judge of Malaya) as portrayed in the video clip recently released by former deputy premier Mr Anwar Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia’s premier doesn’t understand cronyism

12 September 2007

Abdullah Ahmad BadawiMalaysia’s prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he doesn’t know the meaning of “cronyism“, according to a report in The Star newspaper today.

The newspaper quoted him as saying, “I do not understand the word” when Abdullah was asked about worries over cronyism in his 13-state Southeast Asian Federation.  Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia’s king dragged into riot

10 September 2007

 Malaysia’s king Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin has been dragged into last weekend rioting by 500 opposition party supporters that injured seven people when police broke up an illegal rally in his oil-rich northeastern Terengganu state.  

Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia’s rulers vs Abdullah: Who’s the winner?

4 September 2007

Raja Nazrin ShahNow that it has become public, the question before 25 million Malaysians is: Who is likely to prevail in a confrontation between Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the 13-state Southeast Asian federation’s nine hereditary rulers over the constitutional role of the king. (See In Malaysia, the king asserts his power) 

King Mizan Zainal Abidin, 45, the 13th Yang di Pertuan Agong or supreme ruler, says his role isn’t purely ceremonial. Abdullah, however, says the king has no right to meddle in his administration.

Last night Raja Nazrin Shah, the crown prince of northern Perak state, told his audience at a public lecture in Kuala Lumpur, the national capital, that Abdullah is wrong.  Read the rest of this entry »

Malaysia’s rulers openly confront their premier

4 September 2007

A confrontation between Malaysia’s nine hereditary rulers and their Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is now in the open: Raja Nazrin: Monarchy an integral part of nation

The Star today carries a Bernama report which says:

He (Raja Nazrin) said the Federal Constitution mandates the monarchy to be the guardian of the just rule of law, an impartial arbiter in the democratic process and an overseer of the pillars of state.  “Some believe that Rulers are supposed to do so in a purely ceremonial sense, but I would argue that this contradicts the true spirit, if not the letter, of the Federal Constitution,” he said. 

I reported that Malaysia is facing its worst constitutional crisis in my article, In Malaysia, the king asserts his power, on 28 August: 

Watch out for my next report.