PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar has joined the chorus by legal experts and politicians for an immediate Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to weed out the “rotten apples” in the judiciary as alleged by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.
Malaysian Bar president George Varughese said as Hamid Sultan is a senior judge, his 65-page affidavit of collusions between judges and litigants would erode public confidence in the judiciary.
Varughese said the Bar was also disturbed by the admission from Lawyers for Liberty, alleging that it had proof of similar interferences in the judiciary.
“In light of the inconclusive findings of the judiciary’s internal investigations into Justice Hamid Sultan’s allegations – due reportedly to the retirement of the judge concerned and other constraints – and the absence of information in respect of any investigation of judicial interference in the appeal of the sedition case of Karpal Singh, the urgency for a thorough investigation by an RCI is greater than ever before.
“As the saying goes, even one rotten apple will spoil the entire barrel,” he said on Saturday.
Varughese also said the Malaysian Bar had spoken up on judicial misconduct many times before.
On Thursday, Hamid Sultan had made shocking claims in court papers, alleging scams between certain top judges and private litigants to cheat the government.
The revelation was contained in an affidavit filed in support of an application by Sangeet Kaur Deo, daughter of the late lawyer Karpal.
Hamid Sultan said the scams were carried out by nominees of politicians getting into contracts with the government.
Once the government pulled out of a deal, the private parties would take the government to court to claim compensation.
He alleged that these private parties created contracts with the government to defraud public funds and the apex court was perceived to be sympathetic to them.
Hamid Sultan also claimed that a top judge, referred to as “ARLC”, became a sort of a “Maharajalela” (tyrant), dictating what judges should do and write.
Agreeing on the need for an RCI, Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism said the alleged judicial misconduct undermined the Federal Constitution.
“Influencing the outcome of a case is a shameful act of betrayal to the nation, one that undermines the Federal Constitution.
“Judges are distinguished individuals in whom the people place their hope for justice and such allegations, if proven, are undeniably disappointing,” said its president Datuk R.S. Mohan Shanmugam.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said that the government will consider an RCI on the matter.