How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Should judges be allowed to become lawyers after retirement?

The Sunday Times
Legally Speaking by Roger Tan

'Who a former judge later associates with and what he subsequently does or says will still be closely scrutinised by the public.

THE morning after I retired, a Rolls Royce arrived at my house with a message that I was required to attend a very important board meeting. Without further ceremony, I was taken to the penthouse of the Chartered Bank. Here, I was appointed chairman and required to call the meeting to order.

“There were only three items on the agenda. Caviar, champagne and any other matters arising therefrom. At noon, we adjourned to a private room in the Shangri-La for a sumptuous lunch. When I was driven back home at 3pm, I greatly regretted I had not retired years earlier!”

Those were the bantering words of one of Malaysia’s most celebrated judges, Tun Mohamed Suffian, at a dinner given in his honour shortly after his retirement as Lord President on Nov 12, 1982. At first glance, these may well be facetious remarks, but it does go to show that a retired judge can be commercially marketable and become an asset for any organisation to be associated with.

Needless to say, who an ex-judge later associates with and what subsequently he does or says will still be closely scrutinised by the public. His judicial conduct during his pre-retirement or resignation days may even be called into question if he later exhibits strong inclinations or preferences whether politically, socially or morally.

However, currently, the Judges’ Code of Ethics 2009, made pursuant to Article 125(3B) of the Federal Constitution, does not deal with the conduct of judges after their retirement or resignation. Hence, an ex-judge will have to be guided by his own conscience when he embarks on any post-retirement activities. Most of them will become an arbitrator or join a legal firm as its consultant or a statutory body as its chairman. To date, only three are said to have returned to the court as counsel – Tun Mohamed Salleh Abas, Datuk Kamalanathan Ratnam (better known as R.K. Nathan) and Datuk Gopal Sri Ram.'


I am sure in an ideal situation, judges upon retirement, should not become lawyers representing their clients in courts. As a judge in a court of law, even a PM has to bow in his presence. As an ordinary lawyer (regardless of his previous position, sacked Lord President Salleh Abas comes to mind), his previous stature and dignity would have been lost when he has to argue just like any other lawyer before a presiding judge who is likely to be his previous junior.
But Malaysia is still developing as a nation. Despite its one-time tallest buildings in the world and other first-world structures, it is more form than substance. As far as our judiciary is concerned, since Dr Mahathir sacked the former Lord President, the judiciary has lost its previous independence, and is now subservient to the PM, especially in terms of promotions and royal awards.
The instances of an ex-LP and other high ranking judges making known their private opinions (NH Chan comes to mind) seem to have one thing in common: that of justice in the face of increasingly unfair judgements, especially those political in nature.
The government of the day is no longer concerned over how the public perceive the judiciary in terms of independence, they did not even care if the Chief Justice had been an Umno lawyer before.
The recent appointment of an ex-Federal Counsel, Shafee Abdullah to lead prosecution in Anwar's sodomy 2 case left no doubt as to its political significance, especially when Shafee boasted that he needed only 2 to 3 hours to nail Anwar. It was most unbecoming of someone who is appointed by the government to have said that, even though he is expected to do his best in prosecution.

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