Wanted to write on this a few days ago. The secret is out. Dato Nazri Aziz, who took over as the defacto law minister after Zaid resigned, told the Dewan Rakyat today that RM10.5 million was paid out to the judges. The facts are as follows:-
- Salleh Abas, the former Lord President, received the highest amount - RM5 million.
- Supreme Court judge, the late Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawan Teh RM2 million.
- George Edward Seah Kim Seng got RM2mil
- Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohd Salleh- RM500,000
- Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin RM500,000
- The late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdolcadeer - RM500,000.
Now, sakmongkol reads of the above and he is flabbergasted. It is now confirmed, everyone has his price. Judges and common men, plebeians and patricians- they are all the same after all. Even for one who has always pompously and indeed piously advertise to the world, his sanctimonious integrity. He got the highest kickback to assuage his hurt feelings all those years.
Now, sakmongkol thinks the best service they can give to society is to give all the money to charity. If they had integrity at all, they could have refused the ex gratia payment.
The whole idea of paying the aggrieved judges is not based on some misty eyed idealism about justice, or about reinstating lost integrity and honour. It was all about, putting a price on an elaborate attempt to besmirch Tun Mahathir.
And sakmongkol has another question. Why should we insist that in all other transactions, we shout till we are blue in the face there must be transparency and yet, when it comes to money being paid to judges, we want to shroud it in secrecy? Is that a judicial equivalent of honour among thieves or the judicial mafia’s omerta?