(Gua Musang, Friday): Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor is expected to be released from Kajang Prison this weekend, after 40 days behind bars.
Rahim was sentenced to two months’ jail for perpetrating the dastardly act of inflicting the “black eye” on former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when assaulting him to near death while Anwar was handcuffed and blindfolded.
The Court of Appeal judge, Datuk Shaik Daud Mohd Ismail, when dismissing the appeal of Rahim Noor on April 30, said he found the two-month jail sentence passed by the sessions judge was on the “lenient side” and expressed incomprehension why the public prosecutor chose not to appeal on sentence to the Court of Appeal.
When Rahim Nor is set free after 40-day jail sentence, because of one-third remission for good behaviour, he will be a walking symbol of the injustice of the administration of justice in Malaysia.
Rahim’s two month jail sentence had engendered a widespread
nation-wide feeling that justice had not been fully done, and this can
only be aggravated with Rahim Noor walking around as a free man while Anwar
is condemned to the Sungai Buloh prison for 15 years and denied the right
to the medical treatment of his choice to be operated for his spinal problem
There are increasing signs however that the Malaysian judiciary is turning an important corner which gives hope that expectations that there will be judicial reform and renewal to restore public confidence following the appointment of Tan Sri Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah as Chief Justice may not be misplaced.
For a start, one gets the impression that the government, and in particular the Public Prosecutor and the Attorney-General’s Chamber, are not as confident as in the past about outcomes of judicial decisions and judgements as vividly illustrated in two major government setbacks recently.
The first was the Shah Alam High Court decision approving the habeas corpus application and ordering the release of two Internal Security Act detainees Parti Keadilan Nasional leaders N. Gopalakrishnan and Abdul Ghani Haroon on 29th May.
The second was the unanimous decision of the five-member Federal Court on 6th June rejecting the police contention that the habeas corpus appeal by the four ISA detainees, Parti Keadilan Nasional leaders Mohd Ezam Mohd Noor, Tian Chua and Saari Sungib and reformasi activist Hishamuddin Rais, have become “academic” as they are now detained under the Home Minister’s order and have been sent to Kamunting Detention Centre, asserting that the cases are still “very alive”.
This means that when the appeal of the four is heard by the Federal Court from July 9-11, the possibility of the Federal Court deciding that their detention was unlawful and ordering the release of Ezam, Tian Chua, Saari and Hishamuddin is no more unthinkable and an impossibility.
This is a good beginning, creating a more level playing field between citizens seeking protection and redress from the courts against executive excesses and abuses of power.