Note: Since 1957, when the Alliance (and later called the Barisan Nasional) wins Federal government at each election, by agreement among the political parties (ie MCA, MIC, UMNO and others) in the coalition, the President of UMNO, and ONLY from UMNO, is automatically made the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
"I don’t remember the reasons. I have MY own reasons. The prerogative is with me.
I have to make sure the candidate that I decide on is the right candidate IN MY OPINION. I DON'T have to explain why.
I DON'T explain to ANYBODY. I don’t have to tell ANYONE as to WHY I made those decisions ..."
-Tun Dr. Mahathir, former Prime Minister of Malaysia
"...While the prerogative of the Prime Minister under the Constitution to decide on who should be recommended for appointment to the various high judicial offices is NOT challenged or doubted, it is WRONG to equate (the) prerogative of a Prime Minister ... with the ROYAL prerogative of divine rule.
The prerogative of a Prime Minister in an elected system of government does NOT give the Prime Minister the immunity to DISREGARD accountability, transparency and integrity in the exercise of the prerogative.
Mahathir was downright wrong and irresponsible.
He was evasive, uncharacteristically forgetful as to be prone to sudden bouts of amnesia on certain crucial events which Mahathir had NEVER been known to suffer from. (He) broke his word that he would respond to all questions to the best of his ability.” Read here for more
-Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang
The Federal Constitution on the Appointment of Judges
"Article 122b:Excerpts of article by Fauwaz Abdul Aziz in Malaysiakini: Read here for more :
(1) The Lord President of the Supreme Court, and chief justices of the High Courts and (subject to Article 122C) the other judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Court shall be appointed by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong, acting on the ADVICE of the Prime Minister, AFTER consulting the Conference of Rulers.
(2) Before tendering his advice as to the appointment under Clause (1) of a judge other than the Lord President of the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister shall CONSULT the Lord President.
(3) Before tendering his advice as to the appointment under Clause (1) of the Chief Justice of a High Court, the Prime Minister shall CONSULT the Chief Justice of each of the High Courts and, if the appointment is to the High Court in Borneo, the Chief Minister of each of the States of Sabah and Sarawak.
(4) Before tendering his advice as to the appointment under Clause (1) of a judge other than the Lord President or a Chief Justice, the Prime Minister shall CONSULT, if the appointment is to the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice of each of the High Courts and, if the appointment is to one of the High Courts, the Chief Justice of that court.
(5) This Article shall apply to the designation of a person to sit as judge of a High Court under Article 122A (2) as it applies to the appointment of a judge of the court other than the Chief Justice.
(6) Notwithstanding the dates of their respective appointments as judges of the Supreme Courts or of the High Courts, the Yang di- Pertuan Agong, acting on the ADVICE of the Prime Minister given AFTER CONSULTING the Lord President, may determine the order of precedence of the judges among themselves..."
Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad began his witness testimony at the Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the VK Lingam tape.
This is the FIRST time that Mahathir was made to account under oath for his actions while in power.
Read here for more on the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Lingam Tape Scandal, and here and here .Mahathir’s lawyer Tunku Sofea Jewa said that his client (Mahathir) will answer all questions to the best of his ability, even though they are not relevant or within the terms of reference of the commission.
Read here on the FULL transcript of the Lingam Video Clip
Mahathir appeared evasive in answering the questions asked.
Throughout his testimony, Mahathir’s response to several questions was that he could not remember or recall enough to answer them.
Mahathir spoke only vaguely of gathering views and opinions from several quarters when responding to a question whether he was influenced by any party in the appointment of Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim as chief justice of Malaya.
“I don’t have to tell anyone as to why I made those decisions,” he said.
Mahathir, who appeared calm and smiled at times, said the reasons for his decision was “something I don't tell people”.
Nordin:Taking up the same line of defence when questioned by Bar Council observer Christopher Leong, Mahathir however adopted a more belligerent stance.
Can you clarify the reasons you did not agree to their (Chew and Zainuddin) appointments?
I don’t remember the reasons.
Is it true, according to the transcript (of the Lingam tape), that the nomination of Zainudin was rejected because he condemned the appointment of Fairuz and Mohtar?
I am not aware.
Before Tun Ahmad Fairuz was recommended to be the chief judge of Malaya, Tun Dzaiddin recommended (in a letter) Malek Ahmad. Do you recall that?
I cannot remember precisely, but there was a lot of talk. I listen to a lot of people.
You cannot remember that Dzaiddin had recommended Malek Ahmad to be chief judge of Malaya before Tun Ahmad Fairuz?
I did hear talk of the possibility that Malek had been recommended.
Do you remember that Dzaiddin had recommended Malek?
I cannot remember him recommending him (Malek) to me... I don’t remember whether I agreed or not. I have read the letter from Dzaiddin, but I don’t remember whether I agreed or didn’t agree on the appointment of Malek.
Mahathir backtracked on his earlier declaration to 'answer all' and said he did not have to explain to anyone regarding his decisions on judicial appointments.
“I have my own reasons. After hearing what people say, I form my own conclusions. The prerogative is with me. I don’t have to explain why,” said Mahathir.
“Usually, I ask officers... what they say about these things, I take into consideration and rely on their proposals... I cannot remember precisely what was being talked about. I take these things into consideration, (including) the views of the then chief justice, and I make my decisions,” he added.
When asked for more details about the sources of his information that formed the basis for his decisions, Mahathir said they ranged from ACA, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, civil servants and police personnel.
“I have to make sure the candidate that I DECIDE on is the right candidate in my opinion,” he said.
The clincher came when commission panel member Mahadev Shankar asked Mahathir if he had discussed the appointments with Mohamed Dzaiddin before finalising them.
Were your reasons for rejecting Malek discussed with Dzaiddin?
I normally don’t explain the reasons why I make (the) decisions. I listen to a lot of people (but) I make my (own) assessments and decisions. I don’t explain to ANYBODY.
Not even to the Chief Justice who made the recommendations to you?