Justice Chin says it again: Mahathir made veiled threats

KUCHING: High Court judge Datuk Ian Chin has reiterated that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made veiled threats against judges.

In a statement issued in Sibu yesterday, Justice Chin said the former premier did not say he would remove judges through a tribunal in those exact words but conveyed the threat by “dropping words to that effect here and there”.

He said it was obvious that Dr Mahathir went to a judges’ conference in 1997 because he was unhappy with a number of decisions.

“He came to the judges’ conference not to listen to the judges or engage in discussion with them but to tell the judges what he wanted and how unhappy he was,” he said.

Justice Chin also denied that he made these claims because he thought Dr Mahathir had blocked his promotion.

He said he had not wanted promotion to the Court of Appeal but chose to return to Kota Kinabalu in 2002 to serve in the High Court there.

“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?

“It is this: I must be able to sleep well after I retire,” he added.

Earlier this month, Justice Chin caused a stir when he claimed that Dr Mahathir had made a thinly veiled threat that judges could be sacked if they did not deliver judgments to the former prime minister’s liking.

Justice Chin also said he and several other judges were sent to a boot camp “to indoctrinate them with the view that the Government’s interest was more important than all else”.

The claims were subsequently denied by Dr Mahathir.

– The Star

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