I think High Court judge Ian Chin should just keep his mouth shut before anything he says will tarnish his reputation as a judge. He fired another salvo yesterday :
“…Dr Mahathir for what he had done and for what he is trying to do is a devil incarnate but to those who had suffered under his hands, even that description my be rather complimentary,” said Chin in open court during a hearing of an election petition in Sibu, Sarawak, this afternoon.
A devil incarnate? This statement made by him is very unbecoming of a High Court judge. I read TDM’s reply to Ian Chin’s accusations last week and not one word in that article could justify the use of such derogatory words as ‘devil incarnate’. People might say that he was only doing the ‘right thing’ and only ‘highlighting his personal grievances’. But that’s just it. He is not a common man with ordinary standing. He is a High Court Judge. A judge of all people, should be above any one-upmanship. Why didn’t he just make a police report? Or maybe even *gasp* a statutory declaration?
But yesterday, Judge Ian Chin continued his public attack towards TDM. However, he still did not give any concrete answers on TDM’s denial of ever giving a thinly veiled threat. Instead, he berated his experience in the ‘boot camp’, which as it turns out, was just an ordinary Biro Tata Negara course.
When at least 3 highly distinguished judges have come out in the open to deny ever hearing TDM issued out threats to judges and also even Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could not remember ever attending the closing ceremony of judges’ conference, Ian Chin’s reputation was beginning to be at stake. So there is no wonder that Ian Chin would do something any normal, desperate people would do when backed up to the wall; continue attacking while side stepping the original issue.
What was the original issue brought forth by Ian Chin himself? That TDM had issued out a ‘thinly veiled’ threat to judges, which TDM had denied in his blog. But has Ian Chin rebuked it with any other proof of evidence? From his latest salvo, no. To me, Ian Chin’s revelation is beginning to sound like a fraud. Instead of giving us some more evidence, he lamented on how demeaning for a judge of his stature to endure such embarassing moments during that course.
Chin revealed more about the boot camp he attended as a judge and the humiliation which participants were forced into.
“…You surrendered your wallet, your air ticket and handphone when you checked into the camp and you cannot go anywhere as it is in an isolated place and you cannot leave for anywhere as there is no transport.
“You are totally cut off from the outside world, with no newspapers or television and with selected news conveyed to you at the assembly for the purpose of sampling reaction such as the news that a certain party had won a by-election which elicited some applause from some young officers but they earned the rebuke of a High Court judge as that was an improper display of partisanship.
He said the objective of the boot camp was to “make us take orders” and a “junior officer was made our leader from whom we have to take orders from and one Sessions Court judge who disagreed with that was made to publicly apologise on a podium to his junior officer leader.
“Another method employed was to chisel away the view we held of how independent we should be in our job as High Court judges and this they did by punishing or humiliating a High Court judge by making him carry a brick all the time after he broke the egg which each of us must carry wherever we went, including marching.
“All these were, in my view, for the purpose of softening us to take order for the benefit of the government, meaning Dr Mahathir.”
What is it with judges in Malaysia? They are way above their heads sometimes. Have they forgotten the word ‘humility’? When even a prime minister can wash his own plates and attend all the necessary itinerary of that course, Ian Chin felt he is too high class to suffer this ‘demeaning’ activity.
Not many people have attended such courses but for those who have, carrying a brick as punishment for breaking the egg that you should have guarded with your own life is not so surprising. Not only BTN use the ‘egg’ method, other courses used it too. Just ask any participants of ‘Out Bound Schools’, ‘Reserve Officer Training Unit’, any team building exercises and many others. There is a reason to carry an egg for the entire duration of the course. Perhaps Ian Chin could not see its significance.
And to shatter Ian Chin’s notion that only Malaysia have this kind of ‘draconian’ courses, other countries in the Commonwealth have it too. In Singapore for instance, they call it the ‘National Service’. And it’s not for the duration of a few days but for two years! Two years for the “purpose of softening them to take order for the benefit of the government”.
He continued on the attacks by completely being oblivious that it was him who had drawn first blood.
Chin also took offence with Mahathir in stating that there was a police report made against the judge for hiding his past when hearing a certain case.
“Dr Mahathir, by waving the supposed police report the way he did, lent support to the general held view that this prime minister kept a docket on everyone useful but with a skeleton in their cupboard so that he can manipulate then on pain of disclosing the skeleton,” he said in a lengthy defence against the ex-PM’s remarks.
“I thought only the Stasi of the then communist East Germany do such a thing but then it was done for the benefit of the state not for an individual.
“In my view, he is trying to exploit this general belief to wave that supposed police report to get the public to believe that I have committed something unlawful which he is privy to and which the public is not unaware so that my integrity could be put under suspicion to make what I have revealed unbelievable.
“Let me declare to the public that I am as clean as a whistle and my life is an open book.”
Wow. Okay then, why afraid of a police report? It wasn’t even TDM who made the police report. He was merely stating a fact that if Ian Chin is having a ‘holier than thou’ attitude and accusing the former prime minister with unsubtantiated (and still is) fact, then he should be prepared with all the proof and evidence. And, to strengthen his defense, TDM included a fact in his blog that Judge Ian Chin is not free of any perceived misdeeds as well (with the existence of the police report). Making allegations based on opinions is easy. Anyone can do that. But making a public accusations without any proof is highly risky. Even a judge should know that!
Trying to equate TDM with the Stasi in East Germany? Now that is quite a stretch. How many thousand of judges were tortured and assassinated by secret police since 1981 to 2003? But I think Judge Ian Chin has nothing to lose here since he is near retirement age anyway. Which brings us to the motive.
He said this;
“Since I do not want promotion before, now or in the future nor any appointment after my retirement, what do I get out of all this knowing very well that I will be the target for vilification?
“It is this. I must be able to sleep well after I retired knowing that I have done all I can, like all the crucified judges before me, to tell Malaysians the danger they are in regarding the state of the judiciary.”
The danger in my opinion, is a highly tarnished judiciary where judges whom are trusted to be impartial, enters into politics, submit themselves to partisanship and making accusations based on their own opinions without the relevant evidence. Make a police report! At least that can be seen as ‘doing all he could’.
Ian Chin then couldn’t help himself by saying that TDM had lied about him absconding the BTN course.
Chin also accused Mahathir of lying when the former premier alluded to the fact he “absconded” from the camp.
“But two did leave, one because of illness and the other the wife’s illness. Everyone who was not otherwise sick had to remain and we all did save for the duo; with each given a certificate after the end of stay.
“That Dr Mahathir should even resort to lying about me absconding from the camp speaks volume for the character of such person; he is lying by resorting to repeating it as if it is the truth.
Maybe Ian Chin should at least read TDM’s article in totality. As I remembered, TDM wrote – “I was told by a judge who was in the same batch as Chin that he absconded before the course was over”.
Ian Chin should ask that judge why he lied to TDM instead. Ian Chin loves to say things without making further investigation. For instance, he said;
“This is the same prime minister who lied to the world that (former deputy premier) Anwar Ibrahim could have deliberately hurt himself when the latter appeared with the black eye. He is also waving a police report perhaps for the purpose of intimidating me or to blacken me in the eyes of the public.”
For the benefit of the readers, when Anwar Ibrahim appeared with a black eye in the courts in early October 1998, the whole nation was in shock. TDM made a press conference soon after. In the news, a foreign journalist asked TDM, “could the injury be self inflicted?” To which TDM replied “there is a possibility that it could be since he could gain political mileage from it”.
But the following day in Reuters and BBC News, the headline that came out was “Dr Mahathir said Anwar’s injury was self inflicted”! This headline remained etched in everyone’s mind and caused some injustice to TDM. He was merely agreeing with the journalist about the possibility of self injury.
Therefore, Ian Chin, in saying TDM lied to the whole world, made another accusation without researching the true story. A judge making judgement without seeking further truth? Now that is scary indeed. And for him to require sympathy from the public by saying TDM exposed the police report made against him is so petty. Does he think the public must never know about a police report made against him?
We may never know the true intention of Ian Chin’s original revelation. But in the absence of any substantive evidence from him, this accusation will only be another ploy to smear TDM’s reputation. Alas, it would just be another poor attempt to discredit him. Remember folks, no evidence, don’t say much. However, I am still hoping for any evidence in support of Ian Chin’s original accusations.