Reply to Matthias Chang “gets his just desserts”


Rozario in his article dated 1 April published in Malaysiakini wrote “to Chang, all I can say is “sow what you reap” by his indifference during the sacking of Salleh Abas, this so-called prominent and experienced lawyer decided that silence was bliss, so to him I say, “Matthias, you were party to making this bed so do not complain when you lie on it.”

Rozario where have you been?  You should get your facts correct before you comment on matters of which you are ignorant and on Matthias.  It is on record and public knowledge that Matthias opposed Mahathir’s interference with the judiciary.  He was one of the few lawyers who openly opposed Mahathir’s sacking of Salleh Abas, the than Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia.  He played a critical role in defending the judiciary in general and Salleh Abas in particular at that time.  Many prominent lawyers including Justice Eusoffe Abdoolcader commended Matthias for the stand he took.  So, Mr Rozario, please get your facts right if you wish to be seen as an objective opinion writer and not a gutter journalist spreading lies to defame.  For Rozario to describe the judge who committed Matthias to jail as “brave” shows a total lack of objectivity and a perverted mindset who is bent on discrediting Matthias. 

Matthias is not a member of any political party and has campaigned against injustice all his life.  In 2000 he was invited to be Mahathir’s political secretary because of his untainted reputation as an independent-minded professional, not aligned to any political party, who is prepared to speak his mind and stand up to Mahathir as demonstrated in the Salleh Abas case.  He accepted the role during the last three years of Mahathir’s premiership out of a sense of duty and service to the country, with the aim of doing good by providing objective advice to Mahathir, with no expectations of any favours and overt or covert rewards.  The key role of a non-partisan political secretary is to provide non-partisan objective advice.  This does not necessarily entail compromising one’s principles. 

Lahore San, also in Malaysiakini, commented that “he (Chang) was a beneficiary of this system”, implying that Matthias benefited from his role as political secretary to Mahathir.  One can try to do good for our country by either working within or outside the establishment.  It is a sad reflection of our country that it is assumed that whoever works within the establishment is there primarily for personal gain.  To date Matthias is still known as ordinary Enche (Mr) Chang, with no titles, still living in the same house, driving the same type of car, and having the same lifestyle as he did before he was political secretary to Mahathir.  If Matthias has benefited overtly or covertly, his enemies – and there are many, especially within the establishment – would be exposing his ill-gotten gains.  So, Mr San, produce some evidence. 

Like many who know Matthias, I salute his courageous stand.  By the way I am very proud that Matthias is my cousin.  We are as close as brothers and I write with in-depth knowledge of my dearest cousin.

Stephen Chang