Tun Salleh Abas should challenge Sultan Johor too!

I read with mild amusement on Tun Salleh Abas’ statement over Matthias Chang article in Big Dog’s blog. His opening statement reads somewhat like this;

“Since (Matthias Chang) doubts my innocence, (he) should devote his activities towards getting a government agreement to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate into the circumstances of my dismissal and the suspension of 5 other Judges that led to the eventual sacking of 2 of these Judges.”

Firstly my dear Tun, you are not innocent as deemed by the law. Please do not tell lies and misinform the public. He later suggested;

“The Royal Commission of Inquiry should call as witnesses, among others, the following main players in the 1988 event:

1. Dr Mahathir Mohamad
2. The former Chief Secretary to the Government
3. The former Attorney-General Abu Talib Othman
4. Hamid Omar, who chaired the Tribunal and who succeed Salleh after his sacking
5. Other members of the two Tribunals
6. Tan Sri Haidar (chairman of the 2007 RCI into VK Lingam’s tape, who testified at the 1988 Tribunal)
7. The surviving Judges who were suspended/sacked by the Tribunals.”

Tun Salleh had conveniently excluded the most important figure of all. The one who started all that. The Sultan of Johor, Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Sir Ismail Al-Khalidi. I would want to see how Tun Salleh Abas deal with the Sultan in the proposed Royal Commission Inquiry set up under the order of the present Agong. I doubt he would even dare to do it. After all, he chicken out (pardon my presumption) when the original Tribunal ordered him to defend himself in 1988. You know what’s worse than a politician? A judge who became a politician.

Maybe the government should also set up a commission on why a junior judge like Tun Salleh Abas, was appointed as the Chief Justice in 1984? Were there some elements of lobbying? Why was several senior judges like Tun Hamid Omar were overlooked at that time?

By the way, Matthias Chang answered Tun Salleh’s call in Rockybru’s blog;

[Rocky Bru’s note: This response to a response was sent by Matthias through E-mail about 7.30pm].


I was just informed by Rocky that Tun Salleh has issued a challenge to me in response to my article which was published in MALAYSIA TODAY and Bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com

I immediately visited Rocky’s blog to read the challenge and to say that I was most disappointed in Tun Salleh’s challenge, is an understatement.


He asked me to demand from the government to establish a Royal Commission to investigate into his dismissal. Why should I? I hold the view that the Tribunal had every reason to hold that Tun Salleh had misconducted himself as per the charges.

Is it my responsibility to call for a Royal Commission when a Tribunal convened by King himself found him guilty of all the charges that was proffered against him? He should be the one who should “lobby” the government if he feels strongly that he has been unjustly victimised!

In anticipation of Tun Salleh’s reply that he did not demand a Royal Commission during Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure as Prime Minister because it would not receive a favourable response, my query to Tun Salleh is:

Why have you not demanded a Royal Commission after Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad retired in October 2003, and thereafter in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and only now in 2008?

You are legally trained and held the highest judicial office. So, if anyone knows about rights and legal remedies, it must be you. All these years why have you not commenced any legal proceedings to establish, as you have alleged, that you have been wrongfully dismissed? You had a team of senior lawyers advising you. What was their legal advice?

It is a pity that Tun Salleh does not realize that the powers that be have used his dismissal to prop-up the Badawi regime after the 12th General Elections fiasco. Tun Salleh is a mere pawn in this political wayang kulit orchestrated by the spin doctors of the Badawi regime.

In my article, I posed certain questions to Tun Salleh and demanded to know his answers.

Why is Tun Salleh avoiding the issues posed by my questions and diverting the issues by asking me to “lobby” for a Royal Commission?

Tun Salleh should be transparent first and answer my questions.

1) Did Tun write two letters to the Agong? What was the content of the first letter?

2) Did Tun advise his fellow judges, especially the five judges who supported him, the contents of the first letter?

3) If Tun did, what was their response?

4) If Tun did not advise the judges, what were Tun’s reasons for the cover-up?

ROCKY, I am truly disappointed in you. You have read my article and having done so, have you posed the questions to Tun Salleh?

After all, you are assisting in Tun Salleh’s memoirs. Surely, you should be equally interested in the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Please pose this response in your Blog.

Thank you.

Matthias Chang
25th May 2008 7.25pm
Kuala Lumpur

8 thoughts on “Tun Salleh Abas should challenge Sultan Johor too!

  1. Well…well…why drag the Sultan into the picture, can a Sultan/Agong be called to testify? Matthias should know better…any precedent?

    If a judge can be a Sultan and Agong, why not a judge be a politician? If you question about a politician becoming a judge, I may agree….but you….youuu, go read more law books lah fren, you are no match to ordinary layman yet calling yourself 30 yrs lawyer….poodah…..

    JMD : Let’s see how I can put this bluntly.

    This article of mine came to light because Tun Salleh Abas wanted Matthias Chang to lobby for the setting up of another royal commission to investigate his sacking in 1988. To me, this is purely redundant as the judgement was final and he even accepted the ex-gratia payments notwithstanding that he is still guilty.

    What confounded me more was he only wanted those 7 people to be called without calling the Sultan of Johor. I’m sure he would want everyone to know the real story on why the Sultan was so mad at him at that time. The question whether this has precedent is not important. What is important is Tun Salleh should cast his net wider and not confined to just those 7 people. Politically motivated? I should think so. Again, he should answer Matthias’ questions. Are the supporters of Tun Salleh Abas afraid that the truth might hurt? That the Sultan of Johor might have a strong reason for his sacking? How could Tun Salleh still do not want the Sultan of Johor to bear all if such situation would prove his so called innocence (or guilt)? Tun Salleh just wanted to divert the intention from the main issue and save Pak Lah from his so many detractors.

    A judge, above anyone else, must remain independent, impartial and APOLITICAL. If one wants to have credibility throughout his life, he should stick to this principle. He lost the attributes of a good judge when he joined Semangat 46 and PAS. He even contested in a couple of general elections under the said opposition parties. We can safely say that he is no longer be regarded as an honourable judge (doesn’t matter anyway since he sacked).

    Raja Azlan was apolitical when he was the Lord President. When he became the Agong, he remained apolitical. Tun Salleh was seemed to be apolitical when he was the Chief Judge but became an opposition member after he was sacked. Whatever he said after his sacking should be taken with a pinch of salt as all of his statements naturally would have political inclinations.

    My point is that nowadays, he made statements which in my opinion, trying to sound apolitical. Since he lost some credibility, I doubt he can make anyone believe what he is saying. Even in his statement above he lied about his innocence. Hence, my statement that judges who became politicians are worse. They use their credibility as a judge to pursue their own political agenda. Furthermore, like Pak Lah, he is in a constant state of denial. I do not have any respect for Tun Salleh Abas as he made himself to be the pawn for Pakatan Rakyat, the ambitious Bar Council and also by Pak Lah.

    Please read Tun Salleh’s response again and read Matthias Chang’s rebuff. Please also read Matthias Chang’s criticisms on Tun Salleh. Only then we got the big picture.

    Go read some history books too.


  2. JMD ~

    I do not know why you hate Tun Salleh so much ? Is it because he is adversaries and critics of Mahathir ? (You even cut short his statements to extract partial meaning from it but you gave Matthias Chang statement a full wholesome space of credit )

    The undertone of over justification to the extend of glorification is getting …..

    Sorry for using the old quote again. Pls-lah, mainstream media under the control of BN over-do it like before… you can do much much better-lah.

    Tun Salleh did not immediately join opposition as per say and goes from neutral to political one after he was sacked, only a few years later. To be precise , only after 1 general election. Of course , opposition was quick to capitalize on it later.

    Whatever smear campaign against Mahathir campaign as of today, was the very same tactics used by Mahathir against Tun Salleh and many others back then. Even local newspapers that wrote views critical of ruling elite were banned – Including that column of Tunku AR (In that ops- apa-nama ? rumput ) . We have no blog in 1980s, and Tun Salleh did not even have a voice then.

    Mahathir has a http://www.chedet.com today for his side of view. (Should feel Thankful to Pak Lah did not ban him or use cybertroopers to spam his blog to buy insurance or link to porn site)

    Yup, that was the reality back then and reality today.

    I do not know why you gave so much weight to Matthias Chang statements on why called Royal commission now and not earlier ? Didn’t he know during Mahathir Era, anyone dare to voice out get hauled to ISA Jail ? Mahathir was using all puppets in Judiciary circle (including that of Tribunals) to his own advantage, to call a royal commission would have been next to impossible. Also Johor Sultan had some legal rumblings during his younger unruly days , Tun Salleh passed his judgment on him without fear and favor from the bench.

    Most mainstream media in Malaysia is used by the ruling elite as public lynching ground for dissenting voices, political opponents, NGOs or anyone that has a conflict with those connected to power.

    I felt that your argument of Tun Salleh is guilty as hell. ….is likely to crumbled based on just Matthias’ challenge.

    Perhaps Matthias should start a blog instead of using Rocky’s Bru.

    By the way, are you Matthias Chang ?



    JMD : Dear Woody, sorry for the late approval. Been very busy with work. I appreciate your views so far. Will be more than happy to address your views soon. Anyway, I’ll be away for a short while from today till mid of next week due to some voluntary work in the rural areas. I doubt I’m gonna have any internet connection during those times. Till then, see you around bro.

    P.S: Maybe we should leave it as ‘agree to disagree’ for now? 🙂

    Thank you very much.


  3. The Sultan of Johor is too busy whacking the ball boy with his golf stick then to ensure that Singapore didn’t get ownership of our Island. I bet he didn’t even know what there was an island between Singapore and Malaysia before today.

    JMD : I bet you didn’t know it too huh? 🙂


  4. Dear JMD,
    TDM has given his version as to what happened in the Tun Salleh Saga. I have this to tell. The Agong was very angry because of the letter Tun Salleh sent to His Majesty. He wanted Tun Salleh be sacked. But TDM took pity on Tun Salleh and offered him a good posting overseas. The Agong agreed.Tun Salleh consulted a ‘Sultan ” who advised him to challenge the Government. He took the advice. TDM had no choice but to establish the Tribunal. So ? Who to blame ? The Sultan and of course Tun Salleh himself. When Tun Salleh reverted to the Sultan to tell him about the Tribunal, the Sultan just brushed him aside ,stating that he ought to think what was the best for himself , and not to follow any advice given by other people.

    Is it a plausible story ? I got it from a reliable source.

    Hang Jebat

    JMD : Actually, your story does not vary much with Tun Salleh’s own account in his book ‘May Day For Justice’. Thank you.


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