Police report against Mahathir over lobbying for judges' appoin

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Singapore, May 25 (UNI) A police report has been lodged against former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad indicted by a Commission of Inquiry for lobbying for the appointment of judges during his government.

The Commission had investigated lawyer V K Lingam being featured in a video clip which showed lobbying for the appointment of judges.

Dr Mahathir, who quit United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party this week and had been calling for the replacement of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is one of the five top officials and businessmen charged with fixing appointments of judges in the Malaysian courts during his tenure as the Prime Minister.

The other top Malaysians involved in the case are business tycoon Vincent Tan, former chief justices Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim and Tun Eusoff Chin and Member of Parliament Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

The police report was lodged by youth chief of opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Shamsul Iskandar Mohamad Akindi, in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

''This is important to regain the confidence of the people and the world in the country's judicial system which had been declining of late,'' Mr Shamsul told reporters.

''The report by the Commission suggested that the Sedition Act 1948, Legal Profession Act 1976, Official Secrets Act 1972, the Penal Code and others be enforced on the individuals concerned for obstructing justice,'' the Malaysian national news agency Bernama quoted Mr Shamsul as saying.

Dr Mahathir, who retired from the Premiership in 2003 after ruling the country for 22 years, has been campaigning against his handpicked successor Mr Badawi for the past few years on a number of national issues.

He has become more vehement since the March 8, 2008 general elections when the UMNO-led ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional (BN) lost its absolute majority in parliament.

The opposition, led by PKR stalwart and former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, took 82 seats in the 222-parliament house, the first big win against BN since independence in 1969.

Dr Mahathir had jailed his protege turned nemesis Mr Ibrahim on corruption charges in 1999 followed by homosexual act charges in 2000.

Mr Ibrahim has since the March big win by opposition vowed to form the next government with support from BN's sitting members of parliament, many of whom he claimed were ready to defect to the opposition bench.

Political observers said Dr Mahathir feels let down by the Abdullah government and has called for drastic leadership change in pan-Malaysia UMNO to keep BN in power. The BN is supported by a number of smaller political parties, including the Malaysia Chinese Association and Malaysian Indian Congress.

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