Muhyiddin: No need for protection for judge who alleged judicial misconduct

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

KAJANG: The home minister today said there is no need yet for protection for a judge who filed an affidavit about judicial misconduct.

The affidavit has since gone viral and raised alarm bells within the legal fraternity.

Muhyiddin Yassin was referring to Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, whose allegations about an unnamed judge were made in a 65-page affidavit this week. A police report has since been made.

“Well, it depends. We have not yet reached that point,” Muhyiddin told reporters after the official candidates for the Semenyih by-election were announced at the nomination centre in Kajang.

“There is a need for the report that has been filed by him to be actually pursued by the police or other agencies involved — SPRM (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) or whatever, I don’t know.

“Then, we will see how important it is and serious and whether there is some necessity to give some form of protection. At this moment, I do not feel that we can answer.”

Hamid was reported as saying he is willing to reveal more on this if a royal commission of inquiry is formed to look into the matter, but expressed regret that the chief justice is not considering this now.

Asked about the need for a standard operating procedure (SOP) to oversee sponsorships of police working trips, following criticism over such a recent trip by police top brass, Muhyiddin said there was no need.

“If you are referring to the case of the police going on a mission to Istanbul … that was approved by me. I didn’t hide it because it is based on the letter that the IGP had written to me, which is quite normal,” he said.

“Any agency or body or person who wants to go overseas must get the clearance from the ministry… or the minister himself. In this case, they referred it to me.

“I looked at the letter and I had to be sure first that there was no conflict of interest in the sense that those who are supposed to be sponsoring it must not be a party to whatever it is, gambling or what not.”

Muhyiddin said the trip, in which Inspector-General of Police Fuzi Harun took part, was proposed to be sponsored by the Malaysian Totalisator Board, which is under the finance ministry.

He said he met Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng earlier today here and clarified this with him.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report had published pictures of Fuzi and senior police officers on their trip, saying over RM300,000 was spent on business class flights and five-star hotel accommodation.

Muhyiddin also pointed out that he had served with the government for 40 years. “I don’t think there is a need for an SOP. I know what needs to be done,” he said, adding he did not see any wrong in his stance now.

Today marks the beginning of the Semenyih by-election, the sixth to be held in the country after last year’s general election.

Those contesting in the Semenyih by-election are PPBM’s Aiman Zainali, 30, Umno’s Zakaria Hanafi, 58, PSM’s Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul, 25, and independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng, 56, or the “10 sen man”.

Today is Kuan’s birthday. He will be focusing on finding solutions for the public, including those who find it difficult to access facilities, saying Semenyih is not well connected to the urban parts of the constituency.

He also shrugged off claims that his nomination papers were sponsored by someone other than himself. He said this was a dirty accusation to make, alluding this to plain old politics in the run-up to the polls.