Forward    Feedback    

Has Justice Mohd Zaki violated Judges’ Code of Ethics in playing badminton and socializing with prosecutors and if so, could sanctions be imposed under Article 125 (3B) amended last year?

Media Statement (2)       
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Sunday): The admission by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail that it was a mistake when he decided not to give the court a reason for replacing the entire prosecution team in the Altantunya Shaariibuu murder trial has raised further questions. 

Gani said  he had replaced the entire team of prosecutors to ensure a “fair trial” to all parties concerned. He said he had taken Deputy Public Prosecutor Salehuddin Saidin out because he was seen playing “badminton” with trial judge Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin. 

He was going to replace Salehuddin with the Chamber’s head of prosecution Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, but later realized that the latter socialized with the judge as well. 

Two immediate questions are: 

(1)  How many of the DPPs in the AG’s Chambers now play badminton or socialize with judges? Is Gani Patail  going to issue a Code of Conduct for his prosecutors and officers forbidding them from playing  badminton or socializing  with judges? 

(2)  Why  didn’t Justice Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin recuse himself from the trial for having socialized with the prosecution?  Does the Judges’ Code of Ethics  forbid judges from playing badminton or socializing with prosecutors?  

If so, can disciplinary action be taken against Justice Mohd Zaki  under Article 125(3B) which was amended last year to provide for sanctions to be imposed on judges for breaching provisions of the Code of Ethics? 

Or do we have two Codes at variance with each other, one governing judges  allowing them  to socialize with prosecutors while the code governing prosecutors forbid them to socialize with judges? 

Article 125 (3B) and (3C) of the Federal Constitution reads: 

“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Judges of the High Courts may, after consulting the Prime Minister, prescribe in writing a code of ethics which shall also include provisions on the procedure to be followed and sanctions which can be imposed other than the removal of a judge from office under Clause (3), in relation to a breach of any provision of the code of ethics.

“(3C) The code of ethics prescribed under Clause (3B) shall be observed by every judge of the Federal Court and every judicial commissioner.”


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: