Friday, October 14, 2011

‘Copycat judge should resign’

Karpal: ‘Copycat judge should resign’

GEORGE TOWN: The DAP today called on the judge Abdul Malik Ishak, who is alleged to have plagarised a judgement , to resign immediately to save Malaysian judiciary from further embarrassment.

If he failed to do so, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh called on Prime Minister Najib to advice the King to establish a Royal Tribunal to investigate and take stern disciplinary action against the judge.

He said Najib can advice His Majesty to form the tribunal under Article 125 of the Federal Constitution, in similar way it was constituted against former Lord President Mohamed Salleh Abas in 1988.

Karpal also called on Rais Yatim to quit from the Cabinet as well for being an irresponsible law minister by adopting a ‘no action’ stance even though the government knew about the alleged breach of copyright at that time.

He said the case of judiciary plagiarism was an intellectual dishonesty affecting dignity of the whole country.

“The judge should resign because his position as a judge has become untenable due to this judicial scandal.

“It’s a source of embarrassment for our judiciary,” Karpal, a lawyer by profession, told newsmen during his constituency visit here today.

Now Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais, formerly a lawyer, was ticked off as well for not initiating any affirmative action on the judge

“Rais should resign immediately for being irresponsible. Being a law minister, he just sat on the case,” said Karpal,

Citing public examination, Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal argued that a student would be ejected out of the examination hall if he was caught copying.

“But here the judge was promoted,” he chided.

Noting that the alleged judge was currently sitting in the Court of Appeal bench, the veteran politician raised public fear on possible scenario of Abdul Malik adjudicating cases involving death sentences.

Last week, 60 Pakatan Rakyat MPs led by Karpal pushed for a motion to censure Abdul Malik for an offence he committed as a High Court Judge in early 2000.

Abdul Malik allegedly committed the offence while serving as a High Court judge in Johor in early 2000.

The judge was accused of plagiarising a judgment by then Singapore High Court judge GP Selvam and the irony of the matter was that Malik was hearing a case regarding copyright.

On Thursday, Rais admitted that the government knew about the allegedly plagiarising judge and the matter had been handed over to the Chief Justice of Federal Court then to settle it.

Last week Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said the government could not take action against Abdul Malik as it was a matter for the current judiciary to settle.

Karpal called on the current Chief Justice of Arifin Zakaria to publicly explain what action the Chief Justice Office initiate on the issue.

Stressing that it was an important public interest issue, he said the people have every right to know about the standard and quality of the country’s judges.

This is first case of its kind in the country. Relevant authorities should have taken a strong and firm affirmative action to deal with it to save the judiciary from international embarrassment.

“The Chief Justice must tell all what happened after alleged plagiarism took place,” insisted Karpal.

A law graduate from the University of Singapore – graduating in 1974, Abdul Malik was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner on Oct 1, 1992, and subsequently, as a Judge of the High Court of Malaya on Aug 17, 1994.

He had also served as a magistrate, deputy public prosecutor, state legal adviser, senior Sessions Court judge and advisory board chairman at the Prime Minister’s Department.

The Johor-born Abdul Malik was appointed to the Court of Appeal on July 16, 2007. -FMT

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