KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 ― The Sarawak Advocates Association (AAS) today said it is disturbed by the manner and timing of which Court of Appeal judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s shocking affidavit on alleged judicial interference has gone public.
Its president Ranbir Singh Sangha said last night it raised serious concerns on whether it was part of concerted efforts by unseen hands to undermine the confidence of the public in the judiciary.
“The AAS views the said affidavit as a classic example of the proverbial saying of ‘burning the house down to catch a mouse’,” he said in a statement, adding that there are many capable and honest serving judges whose reputations and morals will be tarnished by the affidavit.
The 63-page affidavit filed on Thursday revealed explosive and detailed information on numerous incidences of alleged judicial interference by some of the country's top judges.
Among them was interference in the sedition proceeding of former Bukit Gelugor member of Parliament and DAP chairman, the late Karpal Singh.
Ranbir said AAS is of the view that any complaints against sitting judges could have been made when the events took place, which he said would have been a move worthy of much praise.
“Surely a sitting Court of Appeal judge would have appreciated the value of making contemporaneous complaints which he was entitled to do so,” he said.
Such complaints, Ranbir pointed out, could have been taken up and heard under the Judges Ethics Committee.
He added that Hamid’s complaints in his affidavit could also have been brought before the Institutional Reforms Committee when it was formed after the general election last May.
Earlier yesterday,Hamid declined to have his statement recorded by the Malaysia Anti-Corporation Commission (MACC) on his claims of judicial misconduct.
MalaysiaKini reported that five MACC officers, including its investigations division director Datuk Azam Baki, had met Hamid in his chambers in Putrajaya yesterday morning.
The officers sought to record Hamid’s statement regarding the affidavit, which also claimed that members of the judiciary had conspired with private parties to scam the government.
Represented by lawyers Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla and Joy Appukuttan, Hamid had declined to provide any information to MACC.
Haniff told MalaysiaKini that his client would only speak to a special task force to convene a royal commission of inquiry.
MACC said in a statement later it would study the information from the affidavit and continue investigations if there was ground concerning issues related to corruption and abuse of power in accordance with the provisions of the law stipulated in the MACC Act 2009.
It also urged the public with information related to the matters set out in the affidavit to report directly to the nearest MACC office, adding that Every informant will be protected under the Whistleblower Act 2010.