De facto law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said he issued a denial on behalf of the chief justice in relation to the explosive ‘Lingam tape’ revelations because “I am his minister”.
“I am his minister. I am the minister in charge of legal affairs. He is clever enough to know that the reporters will ask me for a response,” Nazri explained when contacted today to explain his intervention in the matter.
Once again, Nazri demonstrated his lack of respect for the practice of separation of power in a democratic country. How can an executive claims to be the 'boss' of the chief justice who helms the judiciary, a distinct branch of the country?
Nazri's statement does more harm to Ahmad Fairuz, the chief judge, rather than helping him. First, it is now confirmed that Ahmad Fairuz is not free from the influnce of the executive branch. Nazri, a cabinet minister, has claimed that he is 'his minister'.
Second, Ahmad is acting in a irresponsible manner in not answering directly to the public. Lawyer and immediate past president of Bar Council, Yeo Yang Poh, in a chinese language talk show opined that the chief justice should immediately file a police report and respond to the media if he is not involved in the purported video showing VK Lingam talking to a 'senior judge' on fixing judicial appointments.
Like many have said, nothing less than a royal commission will do. This controversy is beyond Nazri and Malaysians must remind the minister to act constitutionally.