If you are a long-time MT reader or a reader of Haris Ibrahim's blog (The People's Parliament), you may already be aware of that Haris Ibrahim is organizing a Petition to His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong to register concerns and to appeal for His Majesty's intervention on the upcoming judicial appointment.
After having carefully read the petition, I have decided to sign it and has done so today.
And because it is such an important petition, with far reaching implications on our Chief Justice appointment, I have decided to voluntarily lend a hand and support to Haris (unsolicited) through this blog and this article. At least, to let you know what Haris is trying to do, and to encourage you to at least carefully read the Petition and to consider the implications to our country should Tan Sri Dato' Zaki were to become the next Chief Justice. And to encourage you to sign it, if you sincerely believe this is the right thing to do. And to spread this message to your families, friends, and everyone you know.
The Petition explains in detail the 1+6 concerns and the 2 proposals.
Whilst I do not necessarily and nor do I always agree with the principle that the most senior person should get the top job, and whilst I don't even know who will become the Chief Justice if His Majesty followed Haris' recommendation on appointing the most senior person for the job, I am even extremely more concerned in the manner in which someone like Tan Sri Dato' Zaki has been promoted to become Judge of the Federal Court (recommended in Sep 2007), and then, to become President of the Court of Appeal (recommended Dec 2007), especially in light of the 6 other concerns detailed in the Petition.
In short, speaking from my own heart and for myself, I am extremely concerned on the future of Malaysia, if PM were to recommend Tan Sri Dato' Zaki to His Majesty to be the next Chief Justice. Why? Because this appointment could last for too long a time, with far reaching implications including a proper functioning of a truly democratic system, in view of his past political and other affiliations, and the other reasons mentioned in the Petition.
Whilst I very much prefer to see Parliament establishing a Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) to recommend the appointment of the Chief Justice (than signing this Petition), however, since the JAC can no longer be established in time (due in part to UMNO Cabinet ministers objections which raises all sorts of red flags), Haris' 2 interim proposals would seem to clearly represent the much lesser evil to me.
I can only share with you my own reasons why I signed, but ultimately, this is your own decision whether to sign or not.
Even though I am not a lawyer by training, I do know that the Chief Justice role is an extremely important role to ensure a proper functioning of democracy in our country. To me, it must be held by someone with unquestionable integrity, and with as much independence as possible from the Executive influence. As investors, we also know that our country's FDI, the state of our economy, the state of our stock market, etc. depends on impartial and independent Judiciary, one that foreign investors and investors in general can trust and depend upon over a long period. Once the new CJ is appointed, it would seem practically impossible to have him removed. And if our Judiciary appointment is compromised, it will have so big an implication and so long lasting, that we effectively compromise the future of our country if this position is held by a less than ideal person. In short, because this is such an important appointment, I did not hesitate to sign the petition, to give my children a better chance for a better Malaysia in future. And I did not hesitate to write what I truly believe here.
I urge you to read the Petition. Think carefully whether you want to risk having someone like Zaki remotely even having a chance to become the next CJ. If you are clear and certain that you do not want to risk it, then, sign it before it's too late.