Welcome for the more open policy in the lifting of the ban on the Instant Café Theatre performing licence drowned by the sea of grave concern about judicial promotions tomorrow which could plunge the country into a new crisis of confidence in the just rule of law and a truly independent judiciary
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): Kuala Lumpur Datuk Bandar Datuk Mohamad Shaid Mohd Taufek is to be commended for his reversal of the City Hall’s decision to revoke Instant Café Theatre’s (ICT) performing licence showing that he has a positive and sensitive attitude to legitimate criticisms which should be the model for all public servants, including Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
I have not seen ICT’s The 2nd First Annual Bolehwood Awards 2003 – The Director’s Cut although I have received favourable comments, but it is like a breath of fresh air that Mohamad Shaid is prepared to publicly admit that he had watched ICT performed several times and enjoyed the performances, that he was in the dark over the entire episode and did not know about the directive not to issue a performing licence to ICT, and that there was nothing offensive about Bolehwood which ICT is free to perform anytime.
However, the welcome for the more open policy in the lifting of the ban on the ICT performing licence has been drowned by the sea of grave concern about judicial promotions tomorrow which could plunge the country into a new crisis of confidence in a just rule of law and a truly independent judiciary, even before the accomplishment of the pledge of the previous Chief Justice of the Federal Court, Tun Mohamed Dzaiddin Abdullah when taking office in December 2000 to fully restore public confidence – national and international - in the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.
The Bar Council’s stand early this month for greater transparency on judicial appointments, and to call for an extraordinary general meeting in the event that senior judges are bypassed in the impending promotion exercise by controversial and relatively junior judges, disregarding the criteria of merit and seniority, is really long overdue.
It will be most tragic if the 22-year premiership of the fourth and longest Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should end with a third judicial crisis of confidence under his administration, causing irreparable damage to one of the five Rukunegara principles by rocking the very foundations of the very fragile Rule of Law in Malaysia.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman