JULY 12 — Our judicial system, with all the complex cases, complaints, and accusations, sometimes makes me want to just throw my hands up in despair, and it seems I am not the only one. Sangeet Kaur Deo, the late Karpal Singh’s daughter and respected lawyer, may have given up on fighting the system too. She is the outspoken lawyer who opened a suit against the former chief justice in connection with the alleged judicial interference in both her late fathers’ case, and the case of the conversion of three Hindu children.
Well, she started quite the tsunami of accusations. Shortly thereafter, Hamid Sultan filed an explosive 63-page affidavit in support of Sangeet’s case against the chief of justice at the time. In it he focused heavily on Karpal’s case specifically, detailing how an interfering chief of justice put major pressure on the three judges on the case to change Karpal’s verdict from innocent to guilty.
It seems like Sangeet’s case should be pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? After all, she has the detailed affidavit backing her up, and from such a respected judge, but reality always sets back in. The Malaysian judiciary is a mess, a corrupted system in which politics wins over judicial independence and impartiality, and Sangeet’s decision to potentially withdraw her suit against the former chief justice is a perfect testimony of that.
Sangeet claimed that, until today there has been no real investigations and no tangible outcomes in relation to her allegations. “I feel the matter still needs to be investigated,” she said, and expressed how she has written to the current CJ, Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat in an effort to take the investigation seriously. But here is where things get really messy.
Our current Chief of Justice, Tengku Maimun, happens to be one of those very judges pressured by the former corrupt CJ on Karpal Singh’s case. If we back up a bit to Hamid’s long and detailed affidavit (which I’m sure most people didn’t actually read from top to bottom) you will find that when speaking of the three judges on Karpal’s appeal case, Hamid emphasised that there was one female judge (which indicates Tengku Maimun if you look at Karpal’s appeal) who sat on the case, and that she was the only one who didn’t agree with the decision to convict Karpal with sedition...a deed that withheld her promotions within the judicial system for some time (based on Hamid’s affidavit).
Sangeet knows that Tengku Maimun has both a complicated past with her father’s case, and direct involvement with judicial corruption. She has also stated that since Tengku Maimun previously sat on the CoA panel, they would have to reconsider the right party to investigate allegations. This is all against the backdrop of the Attorney-General’s Chambers working their hardest to expunge large portions of Hamid’s affidavit. If I were Sangeet, facing a messy system, barely any movement on her desired investigation, and a chief of justice who she knows has a previous bias, I would probably have given up already.
If your head hurts by now, I don’t blame you. The current judicial system is a muddle of former corruption, current confusion, and one postponed case after another. It is no wonder that when asked about the case, Sangeet stated her fear that the allegations will “silently disappear”.
Sangeet once stated in a speech of hers that “there is only one thing that can guarantee the rule of law, that is an independent and impartial judiciary,” and she seems to be under no illusions....our current judiciary has a very, very long way to go.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.