Federal Court should explain the new injustice in the inordinate delay and extraordinary circumstances in its handing  down of the Lim Guan Eng judgement

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The Federal Court has finally released its judgement dismissing the appeal of former DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng against the Court of Appeal convictions and two concurrent 18-month jail sentences for offences under the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Sedition Act under the following extraordinary circumstances:

From the five extraordinary circumstances surrounding the release of Federal Court judgement, the Federal Court should explain and be accountable for the new injustice suffered by Guan Eng in the inordinate delay and the extraordinary circumstances in the  handing down of the  Federal Court judgement in the Guan Eng case.

The Federal Court quorum which heard Guan Eng’s appeal comprised Chief Justice Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin, Tan Sri Wan Adnan bin Ismail and Dr. Zakaria Yatim.

It is also quite extraordinary that the Federal Court Judgment had referred to the "grandfather" of the "underaged girl" implicated in the Rahim Tamby Cik case which was the subject-matter of Guan Eng’s prosecution, when there was no such "grandfather" but "grandmother".

The Lim Guan Eng v Public Prosecutor case is one of the high-profile cases highlighted by "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" as leading to "concern that the judiciary is attempting to silence, not just the Bar, but anyone who criticises the legal system".

The report  said:

After reviewing the facts and the judgments in the Lim Guan Eng case, the report said:

Referring to the Court of Appeal judgement that Guan Eng had made "an unwarranted attack on the judiciary", the Report commented:

One such concern is the "apparent willingness of some members of the judiciary to try to stifle public comments on the state of the justice system" where "robust criticism is often unwelcome".

It said:

The Federal Court judgement avoided the issue highlighted by "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000", that what Guan Eng did was an attack on selective prosecution and not an attack on the judiciary.

Chief Justice Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin said today that "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" was "one-sided" and regretted that it was published without his views.

He said he was not sent a copy of "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000" despite being given an assurance that he would be asked for his comments before it was published.

An inquiry should surely be held to ascertain as to why when two copies of the 121-page report was sent to the Malaysian Permanent Mission in Geneva on Feb. 17 for Malaysia to give its response by March 15, copies were not made available to the Chief Justice and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim who is in charge of the portfolio of law and justice.

In any event, the Chief Justice, Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin  should publish a detailed response to "Justice in Jeopardy: Malaysia 2000", as it represents a devastating indictment of the system of justice and undemocratic governance in Malaysia and will mark the international legal community’s verdict of his tenure as Chief Justice unless rebutted.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman