KUALA LUMPUR, 13 Nov 2008: All six judges involved in the 1988 judicial crisis were actually sacked and paid their pensions on compassionate grounds, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said.
He said the matter came to his knowledge upon his personal investigation, which revealed there was a letter indicating that the Yang Dipertuan Agong (at that time) had written to the Chief Secretary to the government, requesting they (the judges) be paid their pensions.
“I just got the letter from the cabinet secretariat this week…this is the letter that we all did not know…now, I know. I want to say I regret my statement based on the fact that they received pension.
“When I was asked in Parliament at the time, I did not have such facts and I had to reply instantly.
“I want to say here, at that particular time, I was also under the impression that the judges were not sacked because they have been receiving pension for the last 20 years,” he said when met at the Parliament lobby here today.
Nazri also expressed regret if his statement in Parliament on 6 Nov, had caused misrepresentation, adding that he had no such intention.
The issue was raised on 6 Nov when Nazri, in his reply to Wee Choo Keong’s question in the House (PKR-Wangsa Maju) maintained his statement that the judges were not sacked but merely advised to retire early.
Taking the issue as an example, Nazri said hence, it was important that whatever was done by the government should be revealed to the public, especially when the matter involved public funds.
“Because these monies belong to the public, we have no right to make a ‘side agreement’ with the judges and say, “I will not reveal the amount” … There was no question of not revealing it because we have made an agreement with the judges,” he said, brushing aside criticism that the government had broken its word to the judges.
Asked whether it was wrong for the government to sack those judges, Nazri said: “Whether the sacking was right or wrong, it is not my problem. I just want to say they were sacked and I want to correct the facts because they received pension that caused me to be unsure (when replying to Wee).” — Bernama