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SMH: High Court judge flays Mahathir's justice
By Mark Baker
3/6/2001 7:59 am Sun
[Jelas Bulan Jun adalah bulan untuk Mahathir pening kepala.
Sudahlah Daim tiada - dia terpaksa berdepan dengan pelbagai batu
tajam yang tidak serik menghempap kepala angkara dirinya juga......
Suhakam menyokong Anwar diberikan rawatan luar - sekaligus membayangkan
Musa Hitam masih bertaring walaupun sudah terkeluar.
Hakim Hishamuddin telah memetik satu suis yang menggemparkan negara
sehingga menggelabah Mahathir dan anjingnya kesakitan telinga. Dengan
peguam negara membisu seribu bahasa tidak berbuat apa-apa makin pening
kepala Mahathir memikirkannya...... Apakah beliau sudah jatuh ditimpa
High Court judge flays Mahathir's justice
By Mark Baker, Herald Correspondent in Singapore
A Malaysian High Court judge has delivered a humiliating rebuke to the
Mahathir Government's use of a draconian, colonial-era security law to
fight the growing clamour for reform from opposition parties.
In an extraordinary decision, the judge has ordered the release of two
activists held for almost two months, condemned the police handling of
their case and urged the scrapping of the Internal Security Act (ISA),
which allows suspects to be held indefinitely without trial.
Abdul Ghani Haroon and N. Gobalakrishnan, prominent members of the
opposition Keadilan Party, were among 10 activists arrested in early
April and accused of involvement in a plot to overthrow the
At the time, the Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said the group
was gathering weapons and seeking support from Indonesia for a violent
uprising, and defended use of the ISA to "nip them in the bud" and
safeguard national security. "Once the people understand democracy,
which means that violence is not used to overthrow the Government, I
think at that stage we can think of revising the law," he said.
But Justice Hishamudin Mohamad Yunus said police had failed to produce
evidence to substantiate the allegations against the accused and had
violated their rights by denying them access to lawyers and their
"Those police officers responsible for the detention of the applicants
must wake up to the fact that the supreme law of this country is the
Constitution and not the ISA," he said in a 28-page ruling.
"To deny the detainees and their families access to one another and to
their lawyers for such a long period is cruel, inhuman and oppressive
... The denial to counsel is not only unjust but it also makes a
mockery of the right to apply for habeas corpus."
The judge rebuked the police chief and head of the police special
branch for having "prematurely made up their mind" to detain the two
men beyond the initial minimum period stipulated in the act, and for
the police assertion that the two could not be allowed to see lawyers
until the investigation was complete.
It is expected to lead to the early release of the eight other
detainees and has thrown into doubt the future use of the act, which
was introduced by the British colonial administration to counter
terrorism but has been used frequently in recent years to jail
opposition politicians and activists.
The United Nations special rapporteur on the independence of judges
and lawyers, Param Cumaraswamy, praised Justice Hishamudin's ruling.
"The judge's independence and courage in the present environment must
be admired. It signals the resurgence of judicial independence in
Mr Gobalakrishnan said outside the court that he had been very badly
treated in custody, kept in solitary confinement under bright lights
that were never turned off. "I could not sleep," he said.
"I could not sleep," he said.