Hornbill Unleashed

May 28, 2009

Lord Lester QC: Najib talking nonsense

By Chee How @ Hueditor

zambryWhen a lawyer friend of mine heard in the news on Sunday that PM Najib expressed regret that the Opposition accused the BN government of influencing the Court of Appeal’s decision in determining the rightful Perak Mentri Besar, she was bewildered and instantly sent me a short message.

No, she was not baffled by Najib’s attack on the opposition and their claim that the Court of Appeal was influenced to overturn the High Court decision to determine that Zambry Abdul Kadir is Perak’s rightful Menteri Besar. Which intelligent soul in Malaysia would have been buffled? It’s just Najib jumping onto the stage for his clown dance.

“Najib said that the Court of Appeal’s decision was hailed by international legal experts, including Queen’s Counsel Lord Anthony Lester!” I can sense her anger and shock.

Surely, we can expect that to come from Najib’s mouth.

The Malaysian Insider reported: “Najib stressed that the court’s decision was free of any interference and that the Court of Appeal’s verdict was also hailed by international legal experts, including Queen’s Counsel Lord Anthony Lester”.

najib2Najib was quoted as saying: “If a Queen’s Counsel like Lord Lester feels that we are on the right track with regards to the Court of Appeal’s decision, then we should not misinterpret or harbour negative views against the judiciary.”

It was barely 3 months ago when the press broke the news that UMNO and Zambry were seeking legal opinion from high profile Queen’s Counsels, with Lord Anthony Lester of Herne Hill said to be top of the pick, to secure his position as the Menteri Besar.

Fearing the backlash from the Malaysian Bar and political repercussion of running back to the colonial masters, Zambry immediately leaped to deny the news report.

The Malaysian Insider reported in “Zambry denies Umno engaging QC”:

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 – Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir denied today Umno was seeking the services of a Queen’s Counsel in Britain to break the constitutional deadlock in Perak.

“No one has gone to London and we are not engaging any QCs,” he said.

What have we? A lying PM or a lying MB …

llesterTo be fair, Lord Anthony Lester of Herne Hill is quite a distinguished barrister and member of the House of Lords.

Any reader interested in reading the judgments in Tun Datu Hj. Mustapha Datu Harun v Tun Datuk Hj. Mohammad Adnan Robert, Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sabah & Anor; Amir Kahar Musta­pha v Mohd Said Keruak, Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah & Others may email the Hornbill Unleashed Editor and obtain them. Lord Anthony Lester QC gave legal opinions to the successful litigants in these 2 cases.

Having read through Lord Lester QC’s profile provided hereinabove, surely you do not expect this distinguished Lordship to get involved in the Perak fiasco.

Then, however distinguished he may be, the QC being a barrister or simply referred to as a lawyer in Malaysia surely is entitled to “cari makan” (earn his living) by giving his opinions. I fully agree with and recommend that you read ‘…we will accept the decision by the Federal Court…’ written by my learned brother Fahri Azzat. Here is an excerpt from the excellent post:

“… who gives a damn what a Queen’s Counsel says? That is just one view out of many QCs over there in England. And if the Opposition bothered to waste their money paying another QC to say they opposite they will certainly be able to find one. QCs are just that – if you pay them their fee, they will argue whatever silly point you want with great ability and drama. So don’t fling their full title around like there is any authority to it! There’s none.

Thirdly, why did they have to go get a QCs opinion? You mean Malaysian lawyers are not good enough to interpret their own constitution? Anyway, I’m not surprised, the elite of Barisan Nasional folk spend most of their money overseas anyway. So much for supporting the local industry. If the Prime Minister values the English opinion so much, bring back the Privy Council I say. At least then we can be assured of quality on the bench from the highest appellate court and reasoned written judgments.

Fourthly, I am nonplussed that the Prime Minister benchmarks appellate court decisions against opinions that his political party hires QCs to come up with. How can you say that the Court of Appeal is on the right track because it accords with an opinion you bought in England? From a legal and common sense perspective, that is just demented. And how dare you equate a Court of Appeal decision with a QC’s opinion! In Malaysia, the latter is worthless in the face of the former …”

As to Najib’s statement that the Court of Appeal’s decision was free of any interference and we should not misinterpret or harbour negative views against the judiciary”, I can do no better than to urge you to read “Do take the trouble to understand before you find fault with the judges of the Court of Appeal”  by his learned Lordship, retired Court of Appeal Judge NH Chan.

Najib talking nonsense is further confirmed by the fact that he said “the Court of Appeal’s verdict was also hailed by international legal experts, including Queen’s Counsel Lord Anthony Lester”.

The Court of appeal has not delivered its written judgment until today. What came out of it was only a “5-minute oral decision”. How could and would international legal experts including Lord Lester QC, hailed the verdict?

Something very fishy, the lawyers at our table concurred with each other.

“But then if the international legal experts are paid to give legal opinions, surely they would know the outcome,” my friend Chan who is not a lawyer concluded innocently.

But then, who is paying for the opinions?

“Hornbill Unleashed invites readers to email us at hueditor@gmail.com with leads or other specific information on issues or individuals involved in or related to the article above.”



  1. Here they go again, “shooting” their own feet first……!!!

    Lord Lester “must” comment on this & let’s see how far will these goons start to “twist” their “foot”……………!!!

    Comment by chiew ka 4...! — May 29, 2009 @ 10:56 AM | Reply

  2. ‘ He who pays the piper, calls the tune ‘

    Comment by desmond — May 29, 2009 @ 7:24 AM | Reply

  3. These comments regarding “Lord Lester QC: Najib talking nonsense,” is fairly descriptive of the Malaysian “inside.” Whether accurate or not remains largely to be seen!

    Comment by Get A Trip — May 28, 2009 @ 9:46 PM | Reply

  4. The Notes of decision in Zambry v Nizar Case (CoA) by Edmund Bon may be viewed on the Malaysian Insider website on this link: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/breaking-views/27407-notes-of-decision-in-zambry-v-nizar-case-coa–edmund-bon

    Based on the notes, my comments are as follows:

    The illogicality of the Court of Appeal judgement in the Nizar-Zambry case is so obvious that it does not require a legal mind to see that it is wrong.

    The Court of Appeal judges lean heavily on the fact that there is no mandatory, express requirement in the state Constitution that provides for a motion of no-confidence to be passed in the State Assembly against the incumbent before he ceases to command the confidence of the majority.

    This is a very narrow interpretation of the Constitution. The judges have conveniently ignored established parliamentary practices and conventions of Commonwealth countries which have long established that a vote taken in the House is the accepted means of showing a majority.

    On the other hand the judges rule that the fact that the incumbent has ceased to command the confidence of the majority may be ascertained through extraneous means by the sultan.

    Nowhere is it expressly stated in the Constitution that the sultan can establish personally whether the incumbent has lost the majority and act on it to dismiss the Chief Minister.

    So aside from ignoring established parliamentary practices and conventions which have the force of law, these judges have gone one step further to give the sultan powers which the Constitution does not provide.

    The term “extraneous means” is extremely wide and gives his Majesty carte blanche to act as he sees fit to determine if the incumbent has lost the majority. If the sultan chooses to base on hearsay, who is to say that this does not come under the “extraneous means” provided for by the judges?

    In any case, the opinion of the sultan does not matter as the Constitution is clear that the Chief Minister does not hold office at the sultan’s pleasure. The CM can only be relieved of his post by resigning or through a vote of no confidence in the Assembly

    However, the judges’ decision has not only given the sultan the power to dismiss the CM but also the latitude to use any means he wants to form his opinion that the CM has lost the majority.

    In other words, the sultan now possesses the power to dismiss the CM at his pleasure and discretion, courtesy of the court of appeal judges.

    This premise is inconsistent with other parts of Constitution where it is expressly stated that the CM does not hold office at the sultan’s pleasure.

    Although the sultan’s choice of a replacement can be tested in the House by a vote, we must remember that it is the ruler’s prerogative not to consent to an emergency session of the Assembly.

    Coupled with his prerogative to dissolve the Assembly in the event that his appointed choice is voted down, this means remedying the matter not an easy or straightforward task.

    It is clear that a travesty of justice has been committed by the Court of Appeal decision for the sake of political expediency. This decision has struck at the heart of our system of constitutional monarchy which limits the power of the royalty to overturn the people’s democratic choice of leaders.

    Umno seems willing to go to any lengths to enforce their power grab in Perak even to the extent of trampling on the Constitution and the rule of law.

    In the end, they must ask themselves if it is worth it as such powers given to the royalty may be used against them in future.

    Here is something for Umno to chew on. If Anwar were to take 31 BN parliamentarians with him to see the Agung, could he get himself appointed as PM and would Najib be deemed to have resigned?

    Kenny Gan

    Comment by Kenny Gan — May 28, 2009 @ 6:55 PM | Reply

    • These “rulers” are experts are side lining established legal principles and use their invented on the spot “laws” in as much as they can disappear Mongolian ladies and air planes!

      Comment by anon — March 27, 2014 @ 1:43 PM | Reply

  5. Najib can say whatever he wants.
    But he is too naive to think that the Rakyat will believe in him.
    If Najib’s conscience is clear and its beyond the shadow of doubt that the Courts has done JUSTICE to the Rakyat, then there is no need to clarify or try to convince the rakyat that the Court of Appeal’s decision was hailed by international legal experts.

    And further , what makes Najib thinks that the Rakyat must accept the international legal experts opinion as correct ?

    International experts are just another legally trained person and we have a whole lot of them in Malaysia.
    In short, Najib has belittled the legal profession in his own country.

    If a leader cannot be proud of his own Rakyat, he is not fit to be the Prime Minister for them !

    Najib slap own face !

    Comment by Jay Kuala Lumpur — May 28, 2009 @ 4:20 PM | Reply

  6. Remember tis: “wat you reap you sow”
    Damn sure both of you will one day send to hell suffered with burnfire as well.
    Great Liars Of All.
    Lies to the world without eyes blinking.
    Shame on you!!!

    Comment by MalaysianMan — May 28, 2009 @ 3:03 PM | Reply

  7. Yes, yes, yes…. everything is right only if it is UMNO/BN.

    Please somebody trash this Bloody Racist UMNO/BN!

    Comment by Pendrive — May 28, 2009 @ 2:33 PM | Reply

  8. Are we heading towards Burma?

    Friend we have been heading towards Burma since independence some even think we were heading for communist China or N Vietnam if you read CIA reports of the 60s , but some how we Malaysian are not very good at keeping focus on a particular direction so we have been veering of course from Burma.

    To put this in perspective. In the early 60s the radical left leaning Malay Nationalist Parties were all decimated when their top leaders were jailed by our beloved and sometime worshipped Tunku (ably assisted by Tun Ismail the Home Minister) under the new ISA (the Brits insist Tunku enact it to fight the Commies even though our beloved Tunku had promised in 1959 election that the emergency regulations for administrative detention would not be extended) and all their challenges to the Court were unsucessful.

    ISA was used to jailed Labour Party activists, The Socialist Party members and leaders all throughout the 60s. People think what happened in Perak to be such a big scandal that there is a danger the Country slding into Dictatorship, Think again, nobody protested when the PAS government was toppled in the 60s in Kelantan and 70s and Sarawak in the 60s by similar means. Those who shouted were thrown into ISA jails.

    So dont worry knowing we Malaysian we will veer off course again because every body wants to get hold of the rudder and we wont reach Burma.

    Comment by mak jun yeen — May 28, 2009 @ 1:51 PM | Reply

  9. Najis has been lying through his teeth with almost everything that comes out from his mouth. The olny thing he is good at is women, other than that
    he has no Bloody idea. At times he cannot tell Shit from Clay.

    Comment by Ziggy — May 28, 2009 @ 12:30 PM | Reply

  10. both are lying bastards. one lied abt engaging QC and the other lies abt judiciary being free of any interference.

    Comment by pinsysu — May 28, 2009 @ 12:15 PM | Reply

  11. Retired Judge NH Chan pointed out that the Perak Sultan has the right, under the Perak Constitution, to choose an MB according to who the Sultan decides commands the majority in the State Assembly. But a new MB can only be chosen by the Sultan after the previous MB has lost office.

    The Perak Constitution provides that only the State Assembly can decide when an MB has lost the confidence of the majority, through a no-confidence motion. The only other alternatives for removal of an MB, are the resignation of the MB, or the dissolution of the State Assembly. Nizar never resigned and the Sultan denied Nizar dissolution of the Assembly. So NH Chan makes it clear that Nizar has always been Perak MB.

    Read Justice NH Chan. Make up your own mind. Don’t swallow Najib’s rubbish that some Lord Lester of Manchester or some Lord Chester of Footfester agrees. I can say my friend Ah Meng thinks the moon is made of blue cheese, but that doesn’t make it so.

    Comment by Pak Bui — May 28, 2009 @ 9:21 AM | Reply

  12. Are we heading towards Burma?

    An Election Commission that can overrule the Legislative Assembly decisions, the Anti Corruption Commission to serve the BN interests, a rotten police force acting on BN’s orders and a treacherous judiciary (Datuk Aziz may be an exception, with the handful of others, but their judgments can only last for hours) … the UMNO-led BN is certainly not unsimilar to the military junta of Burma, with Najib as the chief commander. Ya, just short of a state of emergence which I would not discount its possibility. Then, the BN chief commander has shown us that he will do anything, to stay in power.

    Are there no decent MPs/SAs in BN? It is only morally righteous for them to leave BN now to stop the rot and help save Malaysia!

    Comment by James K — May 28, 2009 @ 8:00 AM | Reply

  13. who’s paying for the opinions? your guess is as good as mine…

    Comment by mei1 — May 28, 2009 @ 7:04 AM | Reply

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