KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — DAP's Lim Kit Siang today demanded that Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi apologise over his remarks made against the judiciary's ruling to acquit a driver over an accident which killed eight teenage cyclists two years ago.
The Iskandar Puteri MP said the fact that the former deputy prime minister and home minister could make such reckless and contemptuous attack on the judiciary's independence is an indication of the magnitude of problems pertaining to rule of law and judiciary independence under the previous regime.
“The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Tanjung Piai, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng should speak out bravely and reprimand Zahid for committing contempt of court and ask him to retract and apologise for his reckless speech.
“This is in fact an acid test of whether Wee dares to speak up for truth and justice, without fear or favour as he is promising to restore check and balance in the political system,” said Lim in a statement.
On Wednesday, during a Muafakat Nasional ceramah for Tanjung Piai, Johor by-election campaign trail, Zahid reportedly said that “this is a double standard government” when commenting on the court's decision to free Sam Ke Ting who was charged with reckless driving, resulting in the death of eight children.
Zahid's actions were deemed as committing contempt of court by DAP leaders for questioning Johor Baru Magistrate Siti Hajar Ali's decision to acquit Sam.
In her October 28 ruling, Siti Hajar said the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case as she noted the motorist was not driving dangerously and could not have anticipated that there would be children riding modified bicycles, known colloquially as basikal lajak, on a dark and winding road in Johor Baru at 3am on February 18, 2017.
Yesterday, DAP’s Ramkarpal Singh also urged the Attorney General or the court itself to initiate contempt proceedings against Zahid.
The DAP national legal bureau chairman and lawmaker said Zahid’s remarks concerning the reckless driving judgment undermined public confidence in the neutrality and integrity of the courts by alleging the government of intervening in the high-profile case.