Total bill for 1988 judicial crisis: >RM10.5m


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’.

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7 Nov 2008 10.43am

anil, as an aside, you should alert your readers on the disclosure of the trip by Penang Satte Govt which had been severely critised by BN and many others. IN line with CAT, the state Govt has disclosed teh amount spent. For delegation of 52 to an expensive city for 4 days, the total bill is less than RM33,000! Compared to the RM1.0 million travel bill incurred by the city hall mayor, this is peanuts. Even KTK and company spent 3 time higher for a short trip to India! Had the Penang Govt not been frugal? Had they abused their… Read more »

7 Nov 2008 9.48am

I think there is no hope for reform under the BN banner. They have too much vested interest to remain in power, and are willing to do anything to remain in power (classic definition of corruption – but we have gone WAY past that with this regime). It is a pity that our institutions like the AG’s office, PDRM, the judiciary and our Elections Commission have been compromised to the sorry state that they find themselves in. THAT is Mahathir’s legacy – everything else has failed or has become a white elephant – draining our resources as if Petronas will… Read more »

7 Nov 2008 9.22am

No one can decry on the amount paid. These fine gentlemen dared to stand on their principle against injustice. They were unceremoniously and shamefully dismissed from their positions. They could have sued that old … for millions much more. The old fool is lucky to get away from it. He should thank Badawi for covering up for him instead of trying to run him down into the ground. Justice will prevail and he will get his just desert, if not in this world will be in the next.

Andrew I
Andrew I
7 Nov 2008 12.15am

Or is it villains?

Andrew I
Andrew I
7 Nov 2008 12.11am

A quick digression.

One of the few remaining pleasures in life is arguably a new Bond film, which unfortunately for all the hype, the current one isn’t. Suffice it is to say that they shouldn’t have called it Quantum of Solace. A better title would have been Oilfinger. The villians remind me of our own IPPs as well.

God bless Tun Salleh. Now he has all this money and an unlimited supply of durians.

6 Nov 2008 11.14pm

i, as a citizen of Malaysia, will never forgive Mahatir for demolition of the judiciary.
mahatir, hope you still sleep well.

6 Nov 2008 9.37pm

Haha…big snub on Mahathir’s face . Welldone Zaid Ibrahim !

Justin Choo
6 Nov 2008 9.31pm

Deduct the amount from the pension of “you know who”.

6 Nov 2008 9.09pm

Yes, now we have Zaki. Deja vu? No tribunal, no suspensions, no sackings but UMNO in turmoil, just like 1988. How many did he leapfrog? It has political appointee written all over it.

Still a long way to go yet guys. Keep an eye on the Anwar and Altantuya cases.