Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Alleged Plagiariser Judge is still around

by S

Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh today renewed his call for Court of Appeal Judge Abdul Malik Ishak's resignation for keeping mum on the allegation of plagiarism made against the Judge.

Demanding that Justice Abdul Malik quit in the public interest, Karpal said the judge had committed a "serious act of misconduct".

"He is no more a fit and proper person to continue to hold the high office in the Court of Appeal. It goes without saying that his continued occupation of that high office is an embarrassment to the Judiciary," said Karpal, who is also the DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP.

The allegation against the Judge was first reported in 2000 and caused a row between Singapore and Malaysia. Former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Rais Yatim, who held the law and parliamentary affairs portfolio when Singapore authorities lodged the complaint in 2000, has said he does not the know the outcome of the complaint as he had left the portfolio in 2004.

Retired Singapore Judge GP Selvam brought up the issue when he claimed that his judgment had been plagiarized in a copyright matter. According to reports quoting Selvam, the Malaysian Judge had backdated his judgment as if to reflect it was his own.

Karpal had sent a letter to the judge on August 22 and given him seven days to respond. However, there has been none to date. The senior lawyer wrote another letter on September 29, informing the Judge that since he did not reply to the claim of plagiarism, it amounted to an admission of the misconduct.

On October 4, while Parliament was in session, Karpal, submitted a motion - supported by 59 Pakatan Rakyat MPs - calling for a tribunal against Abdul Malik to answer to the plagiarism charge.

“You have, despite your silence all along over the serious allegations I’ve made against you, if untrue, the remedy to sue me for defamation as I’m going public on the allegation,” said Karpal, in a letter that was delivered by hand to Abdul Malik yesterday.

He offered Abdul Malik another seven days to counter the claims, otherwise take the silence as a “public admission” of being guilty of plagiarism.

'The Speaker should hold sway'

As Parliament was adjourned on December 1, Karpal’s private motion lapsed, as it is in the powers of the ruling government to call the shots when it comes to motions. This, Karpal added, should not be the way. “Rightfully, it should be the speaker who should hold sway regarding proceedings in Parliament.”

Prior to this the identity of the judge was blanked out by the media, pending the right to reply to the allegations. However, it was finally published by Malaysiakini when Karpal appeared before the alleged plagiarist, Judge Abdul Malik Ishak, asking for his recusal to hear an appeal in a case related to a drug offence.

Prior to the accusation against Abdul Malik of having committed plagiarism, the judge had heard an appeal related to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy charge. In the course of the appeal, Abdul Malik had allegedly maligned Anwar and his lawyer Karpal in a written judgment.

Upon appeal at the Federal Court, however, the comments were expunged. Asked if Karpal had a personal vendetta against the judge following the remarks, he said: “I’ve nothing personal against him. This is just out of public interest.”

No comments: