Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Posted by Administrator
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:39


My conviction by Justice Noor Azian Bt Shaari is a clear example that judges are above criticisms, no matter what they say in court – making snide remarks, belittling counsels, denigrating their integrity, being rude and offensive to litigants and lawyers and conduct calculated to intimidate.

Judges do so knowing that they are immune from any legal action. Additionally, they have the weapon of “Contempt of Court” to ensure that any opposition to their obnoxious conduct will be put down as being disrespectful to the court.

A case in point – a former Federal Court judge in delivering his judgment made defamatory allegations against a former finance minister who was not a party to the proceedings. It was a grievous wrong. It was only when the former minister, at great expense in engaging senior lawyers, applied to have the statements expunged, that the wrongs inflicted on him were somewhat put right. However, no action was taken against the judge. But of the millions who read the defamatory statements published by the mass media, how many knew that the statements have been expunged and the judge had no business whatsoever to defame the former minister? A man’s reputation and integrity has been smeared beyond repair. For those who cannot engage a lawyer, their fate is buried in the memory hole.

Several years ago, I had commenced legal action against leading members of the Freemasons, which included an Appellate Court judge. The High Court judge told my counsel that unless I withdrew my case I would be cited for contempt. My counsel was courageous enough to tell him off, and he backed off, and the abuse by the judge was avoided. My counsel was a former President of the Bar Council.

To cite one example of Justice Noor Azian’s unbecoming conduct as a judge in my case before her – after ordering my arrest and having placed me in custody at the basement of the Court Complex at the instigation of Defence Counsel, she asked the counsels present for directions as to how to proceed with contempt against me. Defence Counsel, one Mr. Prakash Menon gave wrong advice to the judge, not even knowing that the relevant law was amended. When my counsel attempted to draw her attention to the amended law, the judge interjected and went on a tirade of insults and abuse, accusing them of conduct unbecoming, unethical behaviour and lack of decorum.

When my counsels, as was their duty, drew attention to the relevant laws, thereby saving her much embarrassment for her ignorance, she did not retract the derogatory statements and or thank my counsels for their assistance. Such is her arrogance.

Such abuse is all too common and while many lawyers have privately complained about such behaviour of judges, few have dared to take any action.

For my stand against such abuse and conduct unbecoming of a judge, Justice Noor Azian took it upon herself to be “judge, jury and executioner”. No doubt, such a law exists that gives her such draconian powers. It does not mean that it is right. The law was amended, after Zainur Zakaria was cited for contempt when he was defending Anwar Ibrahim in the first sodomy trial.

The amended law is an unjust law and is prone to abuse by judges. Such an abuse has occurred in my case.

I was fined RM20,000 to be paid within a week from 25th March 2010. I refuse to pay the fine and I am willing to go to jail in protest against such a draconian law. I had initially contemplated to appeal to the Appellate Courts, but soon realised that whatever the outcome the draconian law will remain. I therefore, decided not to appeal.

It is my hope that my incarceration will draw attention to all concerned that this specific law of contempt, Order 52 1A of the Rules of The High Court 1980 is unjust, has been abused and will be abused in the future.

In closing I quote:

“One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."

Martin Luther King

Matthias Chang
31st March 2010

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