The Federal Court’s unanimous decision declaring Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir the rightful mentri besar of Perak does not do justice to the judiciary. It only confirmed that the Constitutional provisions mean nothing and that the decisions of our courts need not be rooted in a sense of fairness and justice.
Nearly a decade ago, we witnessed with horror how the Federal Court headed by the then Chief Justice Tun Eusoff Chin handed over a valuable piece of land in Penang belonging to one Boonsom Boonyanit to a thief and a fraudster. Amazingly – in spite of specific provisions protecting the rights of legitimate land owners – the Federal Court, defying common sense and ignoring the views of the legal fraternity, deprived the legitimate land owner of her ownership to the property.
The language in the relevant section of the National Land Code (NLC) and the intention of the provision was so simple and obvious that it could not be misunderstood. It didn’t require the best legal minds to interpret this law. And yet this outrageous decision was delivered. This injustice was perpetrated by people qualified enough to understand the law. When people who are entrusted with the sacred duty to safeguard justice fail us miserably and trample upon it in such a blatant manner, we have every reason to be concerned whether the right people are appointed as judges.
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In 1995 the Federal Court was also guilty of another astounding decision that did no credit to its integrity or its standing as the custodian of justice. In the Insas Bhd vs Ayer Molek Rubber Co, the Federal Court once again ignored the obvious and simple provisions which, according to the Bar Council “raised very serious questions as to the administration of justice in Malaysia…”
That decision was perceived to have been manipulated. Even the composition of the Federal Court which heard and decided the appeal on 1 August 1995 was unconstitutional.
With its tainted past and discredited history, Malaysians will find it hard to accept the latest decision of the Federal Court. This decision will not restore their confidence in the judiciary neither will it be accepted as a decision that reflects truth and justice.
Zambry and Co may have won their day in this court today but the people’s court will deliver its verdict that will embarrass this court and give the boot to the pretenders who have been legitimised by the so-called judgment.
9 February 2009