COMMENT | Conspiracy against justice

COMMENT | You can always tell when the election is approaching by the wild rumors and slanderous allegations that begin to proliferate like maggots on a carcass.

It is no different this time around with breaking news of a plot between some political leaders and the Chief Justice to target Umno politicians by speeding up their court cases, as well as allegations that the judge who has chaired the SRC trial of Najib Abdul Razak had “unexplained wealth”. .

The thrust behind these allegations is the false and fabricated notion that the courts have been weaponized against Umno and its leaders.

This is part of a larger campaign to convince the public that all those Umno leaders accused or convicted of corruption are just innocent victims of a grand political conspiracy.

This is part of the same strategy behind the push for early elections in hopes of forestalling the ongoing trials of these same leaders.

A closer examination of the allegations will quickly confirm that they are frivolous, malicious and malicious and cannot and should not be taken seriously at all.

Take, for example, the allegedly leaked minutes of a PAS meeting where its leaders talked about conspiring with the judiciary to expedite the ongoing trials of Umno leaders.

Who in the right mind will believe that the PAS can exert that kind of influence on the highest levels of our judicial system?

I made no secret of my disdain for PAS – they’re capable of doing a lot of insidious things – but it’s just too far-fetched to believe.

In any event, I will take the word of the courts – that “the Chief Justice has never communicated with and/or been contacted by political leaders regarding court cases involving Najib Abdul Razak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi” – on what whatever corrupt, dishonest and selfish politicians have to say.

Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali

And regarding the outrageous allegations against Judge Nazlan Mohd Ghazali – a straight and honest judge such as there has never been – by a committed scoundrel dispensing slander from the safety of a foreign country, which I have to say cannot be printed.

Many will, no doubt, find it equally outrageous that Azam Baki, the head of MACC, even gives credence to such blatant and malicious allegations in launching investigations against Nazlan.

Unscrupulous politicians

You can bet nothing will come of it, but the damage to Nazlan’s reputation would have been done. And that is perhaps the point of the whole exercise.

Instead of investigating the judge, Azam should stand aside and allow a full, transparent and credible investigation into his own unexplained wealth stemming from his stock ownership case a few months ago.

More than anything else, the allegations against the judiciary show how far desperate men are willing to go to destroy one of our country’s last credible institutions.

When the judiciary clashed with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, some of the country’s top judges were unceremoniously removed from office on trumped up charges. It took a long time for justice to recover from this blow.

Today, unscrupulous politicians are doing it again – smearing our judges for their own nefarious ends.

This is a new low even for a country accustomed to dishonorable behavior.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Surprisingly, the Bar Council’s reaction was disappointing. Instead of a candid defense of the integrity of the judiciary and of Nazlan, they quibble over words.

Judges are constrained by their own code of ethics to defend or speak publicly; it is therefore incumbent on the bar to speak out whenever judges are defamed and slandered.

Instead of just issuing a lukewarm, pro forma statement, the Bar Council should immediately organize another march for justice to protest slanderous allegations against the judiciary, as it did in September 2007.

Let’s be clear about what’s really going on here. As the Chief Justice warned, allegations of collusion with politicians are aimed at subverting the administration of justice and undermining public confidence in it.

This is a targeted campaign by desperate and unscrupulous men working behind the scenes to smear our judges in order to distract from their own crimes.

We have allowed so many of our national institutions to be compromised, to become slavish servants of corrupt and dishonorable politicians; we must not allow the same fate to befall our justice system.

If our justice system is compromised and tarnished by these unscrupulous politicians and their henchmen with their slanderous allegations, the future of Malaysia itself will be further compromised.

Instead of investigating the judge or denigrating a venerable institution, the authorities should prosecute anyone who makes these vile and malicious allegations.

DENNIS IGNATIUS is a former ambassador. He blogs here.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of malaysiankini.

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