Saturday, September 25, 2010

'Quay' The Urban Savvy?

Hantu Laut

Rated by Tatler Travel Guide 2010 among the best 'Urban savvy"

I am not a reader of this ostentatious society magazine, happened to stumble on it on the Internet.

My wife and I stayed at the hotel for one night to check out whether it lives up to its reputation.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this less is more place, they have rooms or suite rooms tastefully designed, clean, functional and a bathroom that bespeaks opulence that most ladies would go head over heels to have it in their homes.

This is not run of the mill room you find in many large hotels , it's trendy, it has all the trappings of luxury and comfort, big flat screen LCD TV, DVD player, double-glazed glass to keep the street noise out, motorised curtain, dimmer to all lights, remote controlled ceiling fan, huge writing table and a huge air-conditioner that can give you the Arctic cold and all for a steal.... US$130 and a give back of $30 which you can spend on food, booze or whatever you fancy in any FCC outlets.

If you are not familiar what FCC is, it's stands for Foreign Correspondents' Club and has a number of hotels and F&B outlets in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.The Quay and another sister hotel the FCC Hotel are both owned by FCC.They also have affiliated clubs in Bangkok and Hong Kong.

The room we stayed has a small balcony that overlooks the Tonle Sap/Mekong River and bird eyes view of the Sisowath Quay Esplanade that brings daily hive of activities at dawn and dusk but would become completely empty during the day.

If you see rubbish in other parts of the city this place seemed to have been spared the squalor of a poverty stricken nation. More amazing the Tonle Sap which ebbs and flows into the Mekong is so free of rubbish, flotsam and jetsom it makes Kota Kinabalu waterfront looks like one big watery landfill.

After all the veneer of refinements and good tastes, you wouldn't believe what we got to dry our bodies with.

The guy from Tatler must have liked the frayed worn-out towel, or  was given one of those voluptuously fluffed and expensive towel because the hotel probably got wind of what he is up to.

The towel reminds me of all Sutera Harbour Hotels where the towels have seen better days, from the Magellan to Menukan and Kinabalu Park, where you get a big 'Good Morning' (you know what I mean) towel as your bath towel.

These are small annoyances we can put up with.The bigger bombshell came later at night, noise of people chattering that seemed to come not from the street below but from the corridor outside our room.Annoyed, I went outside to check but could not see anyone but soon found the source.The hotel has a huge airwell running from the ground floor where the lobby and restaurant is right up to the 4th floor, the highest floor where our room is situated.

Another thing, none of the free Wi-Fi in the hotel work while we were there.

So much for being 'urban savvy'.

It would have been a very nice place if they can iron out the minor irritations.

Lest, I forget, they are also very thoughtful of your health and well being, they keep a stock of condom in the room which you can use but have to pay for it if you are a single man in need of companion to while away your night .

Hot and captivating, Phnom Penh is Graham Greene-ish, dissolute and beguiling. Away from the whirling ceiling fans, the deep-fried spiders and the honking mopeds is a new, simple, modern nook that’s absolutely charming. A sister to the famous Foreign Correspondents’ Club, it has just 16 carbon-friendly rooms, full of granite-edged tubs and Arne Jacobsen chairs. This is the place to be in the city of misfits (the capital of a country whose own King spent many years as a ballet dancer in Paris), overlooking the Mekong, the main artery of all Asia, and surrounded by street cafés bristling with baguettes and local spices. The bistro is fantastic – amazing hot lemongrassy soup – and there’s a great pool. The Quay is an immediate hub, the hot hangout.


Phnom Penh, Cambodia



Cleveland Collection (tel: 0845 450 5732


Double, from £70, including breakfast.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Retracing the sailing bravado of Filipino ancestors

Kota Kinabalu:
They were the first Filipino group to climb Mt Everest from its north face and reach the top not just once but three times! Now they have decided to test their mettle on something equally extraordinary.

"Going to the sea in an ancient migratory barangay sail boat is more than coming down to earth," joked Art Valdez, 61, leader of "Voyage of The Barangay" which sailed into the beach off Kinabalu Yacht Club, Saturday.

Before breaking into international waters into Sabah on its way down to Singapore, then upwards to Vietnam and Shanghai, Valdez and his flotilla of three barangays had spent a year sailing around the Philippines, making 80 stops in all.

The international leg first took them to Sandakan, then up to Kudat, around the tip of Borneo to Kota Kinabalu. Everywhere they went, they were greeted with rousing welcome.

"We are out to show the young the sea is part of the natural environment and part of the natural highway for the peoples of the Philippines and Southeast Asia," said Valdez, a friend of Tengku Datuk Dr Adlin, Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board.

"It unifies rather than divide us," Valdez added.

"What we are riding on is a closest possible replica of a boat dug up in coastal waters of Butuan City, Mindanao, which was carbon-dated to 320AD or the 4th Century," noted Valdez.

"Riding that now and purely powered by wind and sail gives the young confidence that we can do it again the way our forefathers did it."

The significance of the Butuan barangay rests on the fact that it was the first wood watercraft ever dug up in Southeast Asia. Hence the artifact is evidence of early Filipino craftsmanship and their seamanship skills before the arrival of Spanish colonisers.

The barangay is believed to be the chief means by which the ancestors of Filipinos migrated to the country. "Its original builders are our nomadic seafarers - the people of Samar who are the Bajaus of the Philippines, similar to the Bajaus in Semporna. The Barangay is like your lepa but this is a big lepa - 61ft long, 11ft wide, 5ft tall while the second one is 81ft long and 14ft wide," Valdez said.

"The boats are built with no plan, no design, no measurement except on the head of the master builders and fastened with wood pegs and only two people can do it - the Samar people and one trip in northern Philippines," Valdez said.

Barangay is an Austronesian word meaning "sailboat" but when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, they found the Filipinos already had a civilisation of their own and living in well organised independent villages called barangay.

"Voyage of The Barangay's passage to Kota Kinabalu from the Philippines with Shanghai as their destination hopefully by October, is part of a yearning to trace the migration route of our forefathers.

Not just Filipinos but also the people of Southeast Asia, the people who live in the Pacific and even the Indian Ocean," Valdez explained.

"Our forefathers came from the southern coasts of mainland Asia, in Southern China, Vietnam and Cambodia," he said.

In the interest of safety, they hug the coast down Borneo and up Indochina rather than facing the big waves crossing the Bashi Channel going north to Taiwan from the Philippines.

"The barangay built to the original specifications using wooden pegs to hold things together is not structurally strong to stand up to very rough waves.

"In fact we experienced a scare in Mindanao where our boat almost got smashed," he said.

"The weather is the challenge but our biggest danger is the possibility of being hit by big ships because we are wooden and so we can't be seen on their radars," Valdez said.

To avoid this threat, a radar detector is fitted at the tip of the mast of one of the three baranays which together carry a total of 35 voyagers.

Tougher still is to comply with the legal requirements of the international stops which is riddled with bureaucracy, Valdez said.

The barangay will be opened for public viewing between 9-11 am and 3-5pm today (Sunday), to learn the purpose and history, said Ms Quek I-Gek, Sales and Marketing Director of Mountain T0RQ Sdn Bhd.

"One purpose is to raise funds to help cover the cost of completing several thousand nautical miles which needs quite a lot of money," said Ms Quek.

Their corporate sponsors include San Miguel Corporation, Tao Corporation, Holcim, Agatep Associates and Coleman. Ms Quek's contact is 019-8138162.

Daily Express

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nostalgia In Shit, The Hovel Of Kota Kinabalu

Hantu Laut

The pictures below is a Malay kampong smacked right in the middle of the city centre of Kota Kinabalu.This is a ghetto of the highest order.

Click to enlarge

I used to live in this kampong some 45 years ago.

Kg Sembulan, is now an indescribable hovel and a horrifying sight and smell.Your eyes and nose behold!

Why has this kampong become such a squalor?

Ask the shameless and apathetic state leaders that have come and go under the BN flag.Ask UMNO leaders what have they done to the NEP? To help the bumiputras or to help themselves.

This kampong is now known as the black area of KK where drugs of all kinds can be found and a hideout and shelter for criminals and illegal immigrants.

No UMNO leaders have made any attempt to redevelop the area or resettle the villagers because they were afraid to upset them that may cost them a few thousands votes.They prefer to let the villagers continue living in the shit-hole to perpetuate their own self-preservation.

Below are the palatial homes of some UMNO leaders.

The palace of an UMNO Sabah minister

The mansion of a youth head of the party

Now, you know where the NEP help goes to.

Can you blame Nazir Razak for saying the NEP was bastardised?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anwar's Letter To Supporters

Dear Supporter,

I thank the workers and volunteers from Pakatan Rakyat including our friends in DAP and PAS who supported our candidate in Hulu Selangor, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

Tens of thousands of Malaysians joined us to show the people of Hulu Selangor that Pakatan Rakyat is committed to a Malaysia where all of its citizens have the right to peace, justice, and prosperity. I am thankful for the tremendous support you have shown. Your commitment to change is commendable.

One setback shall not divert us from our goal. Any change worth making is hard and will be fought at every turn. While it doesn't take away the sting of this loss, there is no road to real change without setbacks along the way.

Over RM100 million was spent by BN to win a thin majority in Hulu Selangor: that amounts to RM65,000 per person. Dozens of ministers campaigned every day; the Election Commission appears guilty once again of violating its mandate to ensure fair elections; and the police intimidated our supporters and there are reports that they even prevented some voters from reaching the polling stations.

This means that Barisan Nasional has learned nothing since the March 2008 election. Character assassination, racism, bribery and brute force may help to win one or two by-elections. But the people of Malaysia will not be deceived.

Our country still faces the same challenges which cannot be resolved by dirty politics or a few catchy slogans. The economy is lagging, jobs are scarce and our education system remains mediocre at best. We must do more to address the plight of the poor and marginalised people throughout Malaysia. And we must bring credibility back to the Federal government as we have started to do in the Pakatan States.

We increased our popular support in Hulu Selangor. We know we have to do more to reach out to our supporters in the rural heartland, particularly the Felda settlements. I am committed to this challenge and my resolve is unwavering.

Let us look ahead to the next contest and work to bring change to Sarawak. Click here ( to make a contribution to the May 16th by-election and help us to support the DAP candidate in Sibu.

Thank you,

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Petroleum Development Act


ACT 144


An Act to provide for exploration and exploitation of petroleum whether onshore or offshore by a Corporation in which will be vested the entire ownership in and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges in respect of the said petroleum, and to control the carrying on of downstream activities and development relating to petroleum and its products; to provide for the establishment of a Corporation under the Companies Act, 1965 or under the law relating to the incorporation of companies and for the powers of that Corporation; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Am. Act A613]

[1 October 1974]

BE IT ENACTED by the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong with the advice and consent of the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

1. Short title and commencement.

This Act may be cited as the Petroleum Development Act, 1974, and shall come into force on such date as the Prime Minister may notify in the Gazette.

2. Ownership.

(1) The entire ownership in, and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges of exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining petroleum whether onshore or offshore of Malaysia shall be vested in a Corporation to be incorporated under the Companies Act 1965, or under the law relating to incorporation of companies.

(2) The vesting of the ownership, rights, powers, liberties and privileges referred to in subsection (l) shall take effect on the execution of an instrument in the form contained in the Schedule to this Act.

(3) The ownership and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges so vested shall be irrevocable and shall enure for the benefit of the Corporation and its successor.

3. The Corporation.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 22 of the Companies Act 1965, relating to the names of companies, the Corporation shall be styled as the Petroleum Nasional Berhad or in short form PETRONAS.

(2) The Corporation shall be subject to the control and direction of the Prime Minister who may from time to time issue such direction as he may deem fit.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Companies Act 1965, or any other written law to the contrary, the direction so issued shall be binding on the Corporation.

3A. Powers of the Corporation.

(1) In additional to all the powers of the Corporation as prescribed in its Memorandum and Articles of Association, the Corporation shall have the power to take over or acquire by agreement, assignment, purchase or by any other means the whole or any part of any commercial undertaking, business or enterprise of whatever form of any person or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) and carry out or enter into any activity, whether mentioned in this Act or not, which prior to such taking over or acquisition was carried out by, and for the purpose of, that undertaking, business or enterprise.

(2) The powers conferred on the Corporation under subsection (1) shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any of the rights, powers, liberties, privileges and benefits conferred on the Corporation by this Act or any other written law.

(3A) Subsection (3) shall not apply to any person who is licensed under the Gas Supply Act, 1993 to supply gas to consumers through pipelines.

[Ins. Act A842]

(3B) For the purpose of subsection (3A), the terms "gas","consumers" and "pipelines" shall have the same meaning assigned to them respectively by the Gas Supply Act 1993.

[Ins. Act A613]

4. Cash payment by the Corporation.

In return for the ownership and the rights, powers, liberties and privileges vested in it by virtue of this Act, the Corporation shall make to the Government of the Federation and the Government of any relevant State such cash payment as may be agreed between the parties concerned.

5. National Petroleum Advisory Council.

(1) There shall be established a Council to be known as the National Petroleum Advisory Council consisting of such persons including those from the relevant States as the Prime Minister may appoint.

(2) It shall be the duty of the National Petroleum Advisory Council to advise the Prime Minister on national policy, interests and matters pertaining to petroleum, petroleum industries, energy resources and their utilization.

6. Prime Minister's permission required for downstream operations.

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, no business of processing or refining of petroleum or manufacturing of petro-chemical products from petroleum, may be carried out by any person other than PETRONAS unless there is in respect of any such business a permission given by the Prime Minister.

[Am. Act A290]

(2) Any person who on the commencement of this Act is carrying on any business referred to in subsection (1) may continue to do so but shall, not later than six months from the date of the commencement of this Act, apply in writing to the Prime Minister for his permission referred to in subsection (1).

(3) Subsection (1) shall apply to any business of marketing or distributing of petroleum or petro-chemical products; and any person who on the commencement of this subsection is carrying on any such business may continue to do so but shall, not later than six months from the date of commencement of this subsection, apply in writing to the Prime Minister for his permission referred to in subsection (1).

(3A) Subsection (3) shall not apply to any person who is licensed under the Gas Supply Act 1993 to supply gas to consumers through pipelines.

(3B) For the purpose of subsection (3A), the terms "gas", "consumers" and "pipelines" shall have the same meaning assigned to them respectively by the Gas Supply Act 1993.

(4) Where the Prime Minister grants his permission under this section he may, at his discretion, impose such terms and conditions as he may deem fit.

(5) Any person who acts in contravention of this section or fails to comply with any term or condition of any permission granted under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one million ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both, and in the case of a continuing offence he shall be liable to a further fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues after the first day in respect of which the conviction is recorded; and all machinery, tools, plant, buildings and other property or thing used or intended to be used in the commission of the offence and any petroleum or its products thereby obtained shall be liable to forfeiture.

(6) The Prime Minister may by notification in the Gazette exempt any business referred to in subsections (1) and (3) or any company or class of company carrying on any such business from the provisions of this section.

[Ins. Act A382]

6A. (Repealed by Act A382).

7. Power to make regulations.

The Prime Minister may make regulations for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of the Act and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations may, in particular, provide for -

(a) the conduct of or the carrying on of -

(i) any business or service relating to the exploration, exploitation, winning or obtaining of petroleum;

(ii) any business involving the manufacture and supply of equipment used in the petroleum industry;

(iii) downstream activities and development relating to petroleum;

(b) the marketing and distribution of petroleum and its products;

(c) penalties in the form of a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both such fine and imprisonment for breach of any of the regulations and for non-compliance with any term or condition of any licence, permission or approval issued or granted under the regulations;

(d) the forfeiture of anything used or intended to be used in the commission of any such breach or non-compliance.

[Am. Act A290]

7A Delegation.

The Prime Minister may; by notification in the Gazette, delegate, subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed in such notification, the exercise of any of his powers or the performance of any of his duties under this Act, other than his powers and duties under sections 3(2), 5(1) and 7, to any person described by name or office.

[Ins. Act A290]

7B. Offences by bodies of persons and by servants and agents.

(1) Where an offence against this Act or any regulations made thereunder has been committed by any company, firm, society or other body of persons, any person who at the time of the commission of the offence was a director, manager or other similar officer or a partner of the company, firm, society or other body of persons or was purporting to act in such capacity shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence.

(2) Whenever it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that a contravention of the provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder has been committed by any clerk, servant or agent when acting in the course of his employment the principal shall also be liable for such contravention and to the penalty provided therefor:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be deemed to exempt the liability of the clerk, servant or agent in respect of any penalty provided by this Act or any regulations made thereunder for any contravention proved to have been committed by him.

[Ins. Act A290]

7C. Jurisdiction of courts.

Notwithstanding anything contained in any other written law to the contrary, a Sessions Court or, in Sabah and Sarawak, a Court of a Magistrate of the First Class, shall have jurisdiction to try any offence under this Act or any regulations made thereunder and on conviction to impose the full penalty therefor.

[Ins. Act A290]

8. Saving.

(1) Save for section 14 thereof, the Petroleum Mining Act 1966 shall not apply to the Corporation.

(2) In the application of section 14 of that Act to the Corporation, any reference to the licensee shall be construed as a reference to the Corporation, and any reference to the exercising of any rights contained in the licence shall be construed as a reference to the exercising of the rights, powers, liberties and privileges vested in the Corporation by virtue of section 2 (1) of this Act.

[Am. Act A290]

9. Transitional.

(1) Any exploration licences issued and any petroleum agreements entered into pursuant to the Petroleum Mining Act 1966, and any licences, leases and agreements issued or made under any written law in force relating to prospecting, exploration or mining for petroleum shall continue to be in force for a period of six months from the date of the coming into force of this Act or for such extended period as the Prime Minister may allow.

(2) Where the six months' period has elapsed and no extension thereto under subsection (1) is allowed, the licences, leases or agreements mentioned in that subsection shall determine or cease to have effect and there shall be paid to the person whose rights under the licence, lease or agreement have been so determined, adequate compensation which may be in the form of a single sum or in the form of periodical payments of money or in such other form as may be determined by the Federal Government or under any arrangement agreed upon between such person and other person designated by the Federal Government.

[Am. Act A290]


For the Purpose of this Act, the expression "petroleum" means any mineral oil or relative hydrocarbon and natural gas existing in its natural condition and casinghead petroleum spirit including bituminous shales and other stratified deposits from which oil can be extracted.

[Ins Act A382]


(Section 2 (2))


I,............................................................................................................. ..................................................................................................... on behalf of the Government of.............................................. on of...........................................197.........., hereby grant in perpetuity and convey to and vest in PETRONAS the ownership in and the exclusive rights, powers, liberties and privileges of exploring, exploiting winning and obtaining petroleum whether lying onshore or offshore of Malaysia. The grant, conveyance and vesting made hereunder shall be irrevocable and shall enure for the benefit of PETRONAS and its successor.

IN WITNESS whereof I on behalf of the Government of .......................................................hereunto set my hand the day and year first herein above written.

............................................ ............................................

on behalf of the Government of ............................................

Witness's signature:

............................................ ..............................................

I,..................................................................................................... on behalf of PETRONAS hereby accept the grant, conveyance and the vesting made above.

............................................. ............................................ ............................................

Witness's signature:

........................................... ............................................

Done at .....................................................this ............................... day of ............................... 197 ..........

Friday, February 19, 2010

Malaysia's Brain Drain

Written by Mariam Mokhtar
Thursday, 18 February 2010 ImageIt's Not Just Politics and Racial Discrimination.

Malaysia's brain drain appears to be picking up speed. According to a recent parliamentary report, 140,000 left the country, probably for good, in 2007. Between March 2008 and August 2009, that figure more than doubled to 305,000 as talented people pulled up stakes, apparently disillusioned by rising crime, a tainted judiciary, human rights abuses, an outmoded education system and other concerns.

The general assumption is that Chinese and Indians form the majority of those abandoning the country of their birth because ethnic Malays consider them pendatang – aliens in a Malay land, regardless of how long they have been in the country. However, increasing numbers of Malays have already emigrated as well, or are seriously thinking it, dismayed by corrupt practices as well as the rigid confines of Islam and the rise of fundamentalism embodied in the revelation on Wednesday by Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein that three women had been caned in Kajang Prison in Selangor on Feb. 9 for having had illicit sex under shariah law.

In 2000, according to figures compiled in 2007, 40 percent of Malaysian emigrants headed for Singapore – at the same time Singaporeans are headed somewhere else. By one estimate, (Singaporeans Seek Asylum Elsewhere, Asia Sentinel, Jan. 7) the number who put the Lion City behind them is as high as 15 percent of annual births. In 2006, the Transport Minister, Raymond Lim, expressed concern that 53 percent of Singaporean teens would consider emigration. One website survey put Singapore's average outflow at 26.11 migrants per 1,000 citizens, the second highest in the world - next only to East Timor (51.07).

Of the other émigrés, 30 percent go to OECD countries (Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and Britain) 20 percent to Asian countries (Brunei, Philippines, Indonesia) and the rest of the world (10 percent). Malaysian Employers Federation executive director, Shamsuddin Bardan, said in an interview that 785,000 Malaysians are working overseas. Unofficially, the figure is well over 1 million.

Nor are people all that is leaving. Asia Sentinel reported on Jan.11 (Malaysia's Disastrous Capital Flight) that there has been an exodus of money from Malaysia on a scale which surpasses that which occurred during the Asian crisis. The decline is also reflected in a sudden decline in base money supply – even while, thanks to Bank Negara, broader M2 has continued to grow modestly.

A major problem is the flight of graduates. As early as 2004, former Premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was becoming concerned, pointing out that as many as many as 30,000 thought to be working in foreign countries, many of whom had held scholarships in top universities from the Malaysian government but chose to stay overseas at the end of their studies. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad demanded that other countries pay Malaysia for having seduced them to stay, " since, by right, the graduates' training and knowledge should be called intellectual property."

The typical reasons are well-documented: improved employment and business prospects, higher salaries, better working environments, greater chances of promotion and a relatively superior quality of life.

Three Malay women put a personal face on statistics in conversation with Asia Sentinel, sharing their decisions to emigrate. Two are graduates of overseas universities, the third is from a local school. Their decisions to leave were made, they say, after a lot of soul searching. But for these women, money and economic incentives were not the end-all. Their names have been changed to protect them.Read more.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shame On You

About my brother judge Augustine Paul

When the infamous Judge Jeffreys died ignominiously in 1689 at the age of 41 in the Tower of London where he was imprisoned, no one in freedom loving England mourned his death.

augustine paulJudge Jeffreys died in obscurity as a judge. But his name will forever be remembered in infamy for his part as the judge in the Bloody Assize. Likewise, the name of judge Augustine Paul (left) will remain in obscurity as a judge, but his name will be remembered as a bad and evil judge because of his monstrous behaviour on the bench when he tried former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim.

This obnoxious man never gave Anwar a fair trial. William Shakespeare once wrote in one of his plays, "The evil that men do lives after them": Julius Caesar, Act 3, scene 2.

There is another quotation which tells us that an unjust judge is unfit to be called a judge. The quotation fits Augustine to a T. It reads, "When the judge is unjust, he is no longer a judge but a transgressor": Giosue` Borsi in 'A Soldier's Confidence with God', The Macmillan Treasury of Relevant Quotations.

anwar ibrahim 1998 sodomy trial court case the bed mattress staI remember that when Augustine tried Anwar in the infamous "mattress" case - up to this day, we still do not understand why the mattress was carried in and out of court daily during the long trial - the judge was surrounded by bodyguards. He must have known that he had done wrong for him to fear for his life.

During the days of the Emergency - I was a schoolboy then - many communists were tried before stern but fair-minded colonial judges for armed insurgency and they dealt out the death sentence to those whom they convicted almost routinely. Yet the judges were not protected. The judges had no bodyguards and their home and family were unprotected..

The communists killed Sir Henry Gurney and many expatriate police officers. But they never touched a single judge. No judge was ever threatened nor harmed by the insurgents. But a coward like Augustine needed protection.

There was a time when Sheikh Daud Ismail and I were the High Court judges who were hearing criminal cases in Kuala Lumpur . One morning, the late Mohtar Abdullah, who was then the head of criminal prosecutions in the Attorney-General's Chambers, telephoned me to offer me a police bodyguard for my protection because two prisoners who had been severely punished by me for armed robbery had escaped from prison and he had reason to believe that one of them was looking for me.

I turned down the offer because I have never acted unjustly or unfairly as a judge so that there was no reason for me to fear reprisal from those who had been punished by me. In my 21 years as a judge until I retired in the year 2000, I was never harmed nor threatened by those criminals who had received harsh sentences from me.

Once in a while, those who had been punished by me have accosted me. They meant me no harm. They just wanted to tell me that they have served their term and to shake my hand. They wanted to show to their family members that they could approach a judge to speak to him cordially.

I could not recognise any of them, of course - so many had passed through my hand. But the ex-convicts bore no grudge against me even though I had imposed the harshest sentences on them because they knew that they had been given a fair hearing.

Now you know that an unjust judge is not a judge but a transgressor. Augustine was a transgressor and so was Judge Jeffreys before him. This is what I wrote in the Preface to the second edition of my book, 'How to Judge the Judges'

"The epitome of justice is a fair trial and for the presiding judge to do justice according to law. These are the twin pillars of justice. One would never tire of stressing this point; this is what the rule of law is all about.

For there to be a fair trial the presiding judge must be fair-minded and he must administer justice according to law. If the judge does not do that, then justice has failed. There will be injustice. The judge must be impartial himself and in his court he must manifest an appearance of impartiality - for justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done."

With that definition of justice, the common man can judge the judges. It is so easy to be a judge. All that you need to be one is to be fair-minded yourself and to show by your conduct and behaviour in court that you deal out impartial justice - for justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. The other attribute of a judge is to administer justice according to law.

It is so easy to be a judge, yet this country, since chief justice Abdul Hamid Omar, has not been able to appoint judges with such simple attributes. There are exceptions, of course - there are a few good judges left but they are few and far between as can be seen by the antics of the main body of judges in the cases of the Perak crisis.

Like two peas in a pod

At page 8 of my book, ibid
, I wrote:

"The first Anwar Ibrahim trial (Public Prosecutor v Anwar bin Ibrahim [1999] 2 AMR 2017): the so-called "corruption trial" had attracted much adverse worldwide attention. It was not the judgment that was criticised (it could even be impeccable) but the way the trial was conducted which attracted so much adverse comment and disapproval from television broadcast abroad and from the international press.

The remarks and behaviour from the bench: like when the lawyers for the defence were threatened with contempt of court, in fact one of the defence lawyers was actually charged with the offence, and with the judge being difficult with the witnesses and counsel for the defence at almost every turn of the trial, gave the impression to the media and to those who were there that the judge was one-sided. It did not matter that the judge thought he was not.

As Lord Devlin observed, "The judge who gives the right judgment while appearing not to do so may be thrice blessed in heaven, but on earth he is no use at all" Patrick Devlin, The Judge, p 3). Mr Justice Augustine Paul, like the infamous Judge Jeffreys before him, by the manner in which he had conducted the trial and his behaviour on the bench, brought ignominy and embarrassment to the reputation of the courts of this country. The decision could be set aside for apparent bias: see Ex parte Pinochet Ugarte (No 2) [1999] 1 All ER 577 (HL(E))."

The perpetuation of injustice by him while on the bench was Augustine's besetting sin. This is how I put it at page 7 of my book:

"The judge who does not appear to be fair; who does not appear to be impartial, is useless to the judicial process. Even though he has given the right judgment, the judge who does not appear to be fair at the hearing leaves behind a sense of injustice to the losing party who will feel that he has been singled out by the judge's show of partiality. Such a judge is useless to the judicial process and gives a bad name to the courts of his country."

Like two peas in a pod, Augustine's reflection - his mirror image - was the infamous Judge Jeffreys before him. Both men were unjust and their besetting sin was the perpetration of injustice.

The nemesis of Judge Jeffreys was the trial of Alice Lisle. Just as the nemesis of judge Augustine was the trial of Anwar. On page 10 of my book, I wrote, "...the trial of Dame Alice Lisle and Judge Jeffreys' infamous conduct of pressuring an unwilling jury to convict her brought infamy to his name down through the centuries to this day."

In the book 'What Next in the Law', Butterworths, London , 1982, pp. 40, 41, Lord Denning tells this story:

"I was surprised to find how few, even in my county of Hampshire , had heard of Alice Lisle. Everyone has heard of Judge Jeffreys and the Bloody Assize. But they seem to be unaware of the way in which he browbeat the jury consisting, we are told, of the "best quality of the country".

All that the little old lady had done was to let a man called Hicks - a non-conformist minister - have a night's lodging in her house near Fordingbridge. She did not know that he had been in the rebellion on the side of the Duke of Monmouth. He only stayed one night and left the next day. But she was charged with high treason.

Now there was in law no case against her. And Jeffreys should have known it: because Hicks had not been tried, nor had he been convicted of treason. She took the legal objection herself that the principal traitor ought first to have been convicted "because, peradventure, he might afterwards be acquitted as innocent after she had been condemned for harbouring him."

But Jeffreys would have none of it. He summed up furiously against her. The jury retired. It is said by almost all the contemporary authorities that:

"Thrice did the jury refuse to find a verdict of guilty and thrice did Lord Chief Justice Jeffreys send them back to reconsider their verdict."

The jury remained long in consultation. He then sent a messenger to tell them that, if they did not instantly return, he would adjourn the court and lock them up all night. So they came back. But not to find Alice Lisle guilty. They said that they doubted whether the charge was made out. Then Jeffreys said:

Jeffreys: The circumstances and management of the thing is as full proof as can be. I wonder what it is you doubt of.

Lisle: My Lord, I hope...

Jeffreys: You must not speak now.

So she was not allowed to speak anymore. The jury laid their heads together for near a quarter of an hour. I am sorry to say that they gave in. They did not hold out as good men of Hampshire should have done. They found her guilty. Trial by jury had failed because of an unjust judge. Jeffreys then pronounced sentence on her that she be burnt alive."

According to 'Macaulay History of England ', Vol 1, p 314, the clergy of Winchester Cathedral remonstrated with the chief justice and her sentence was commuted. She was put to death on a scaffold.

NH CHAN is a former Court of Appeal judge famous for his 'All is not well in the House of Denmark ' comment regarding judicial corruption. He was referring to the Kuala Lumpur High Court's commercial division located in Wisma Denmark . The quote is based on Shakespeare's 'Something is rotten in the state of Denmark '. He now lives in Ipoh . This is an edited version of his article.