Mahathir blames Agong again for top judge’s sacking


Ex-premier revisits 1988 judicial crisis with twisted account of Salleh Abas affair.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave a twisted and one-sided account of the 1988 judicial crisis when the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas (pic), was sacked and five Supreme Court judges later removed from the Bench.

Speaking at the trendy Cooler Lumpur Festival, he said it was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, then Johor’s Sultan Iskandar Ismail, who had wanted Salleh removed.

He has previously given similar accounts of the Salleh sacking, which came in the midst of an Umno crisis which had resulted in the party being deregistered, in which he has also similarly blamed Sultan Iskandar.

Poignantly, his remarks come just one day after the death of Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohd Salleh, the last of the five Supreme Court judges who were removed from the Bench for trying to intervene in the Salleh case to preserve the judiciary. The others were George Seah, Eusoffe Abdoolcadeer, Wan Suleiman Pawanteh and Azmi Kamaruddin.

Dr Mahathir again claimed, as he has done before, that he had to take the blame for Salleh’s sacking and that it was the late Tuanku Iskandar’s wish to remove Salleh.

“The Johor Sultan never liked Salleh. He (Salleh) wrote a letter complaining about noise coming from his (Sultan’s) house. That was wrong… but Salleh wrote the letter and copied it to every Sultan. The Johor Sultan, who was the Agong, was annoyed and said this is the wrong thing to do, and he asked me to dismiss Salleh,” said Mahathir

Dr Mahathir also blamed the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, of having made him the complainant instead of Tuanku Iskandar when the government instituted a tribunal, as required by the constitution, to remove Salleh.