RM10.5 million. That’s what it cost to compensate the judges unjustly sacked or dismissed from the judiciary in 1988 under the Mahathir administration.
The breakdown is as follows:
Lord President Tun Salleh Abas – RM5 million
Supreme Court judges:
- Wan Suleiman Pawanteh (deceased) – RM2 million
- George Seah – RM2 million
- Azmi Kamaruddin – RM500,000
- Eusoffe Abdoolcadeer (deceased) – RM500,000
- Wan Hamzah Mohamed Salleh – RM500,000
These were the five Supreme Court judges who bravely stood up for justice and democracy when the Lord President was suspended (and later dismissed). All five were suspended but Azmi, Eusoffe and Wan Hamzah were later re-instated. It was a devastating blow to the country’s highest court – a blow from which it has not recovered to this day.
So these three judges who were reinstated received a lower amount of RM500,000.
But tell me, how do you compensate someone who is no longer alive?
Anyway, RM10.5 million is not the only expenditure. They had to fly in and house all these Commonwealth judges to sit on the tribunal to inquire into the conduct of the five Supreme Court judges.
Nazri said the judges were still receiving their pensions because they were not sacked but their services were stopped earlier than usual. Sounds like playing with words… Apart from the three reinstated after suspension, the others were sacked/dismissed in 1988.
Speaking of playing with words, it was not longer after this that they changed the designation of the top judge from Lord President to Chief Justice. Supreme Court judges were renamed Federal Court judges. It was almost as if they were saying that the judges were no longer ‘supreme’.