NEUTRALITY OF JUDGE MAY HAVE BEEN AFFECTED: YONG
(12 June 2001) DE

KOTA KINABALU: SAPP President Datuk Yong Teck Lee Monday called on High Court Judge Datuk Muhammad Kamil Awang to disclose the identity of the caller, who allegedly directed him to strike out the Likas election petition.

"As a lawyer myself and a Member of Parliament, I respectfully call on the learned judge to ensure that justice be served by disclosing the identity of the caller.

"He should also clarify whether there has been a report about the phone directive to the appropriate authorities at the relevant time, if it had not already been done so," he said in a statement issued.

He also said the judge's revelation that he was directed over the phone to strike out the petition without a hearing was most disturbing.

"I wish to categorically state that neither I nor any of my lawyers had any knowledge of it whatsoever until we read the judgment," said Yong, who is MP for Gaya.

Yong said he is pleased that the judge had disclosed this in his judgment.

However, he said, it was unfortunate that Muhammad Kamil did not inform the parties before or at the commencement of the trial.

"Had he done so it would have been open to the parties to consider appropriate steps to be taken including applying to the learned judge to disqualify himself," said Yong.

He also said it was also regrettable that the revelation has led to a perception that the judge may have been influenced by the "directive".

"In trying to justify his conscience, his impartiality may have been affectd," said Yong


Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Member of Parliament for P150 Gaya / State Assemblyman for N13 Likas

'CALLER A FORMER TOP MAN'

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court Judge Datuk Hj Muhammad Kamil Awang said Monday the "caller" who directed him to strike off the Likas election petition is a former high-ranking member of the judiciary.

However, he declined to name the person

Asked by reporters if the person was a former top official of either the Federal Court or the Court of Appeal or the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, he said:

"Yes... You think who else can give a directive to a judge?"...  DE

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