Dr M: Salleh was sacked, pension given on compassionate grounds

Posted by Penarik Beca Sunday, November 9, 2008

NST (8/11/08): Tun Salleh Abas was indeed sacked as lord president but obtained a pension on grounds of compassion, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He refuted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who said Salleh and two of the five other judges involved in the 1988 judicial crisis had not been dismissed but were asked to retire early.

“The judges were sacked as far as I know,” Dr Mahathir said. “The pensions were given on compassionate grounds.”

“Now, he (Salleh) gets RM5 million and I’d like to con gratulate him for that,” he said in his trademark sarcasm.

He said the decision to allow Salleh’s pension followed an appeal after his sacking in 1988.

“There was an appeal and we thought despite the fact that he was sacked, he had rendered service to the government for the years he was there.

“To cut him off completely and deny him pension would be very cruel, so it was decided that he and the other judges were paid their pensions,” he said at the Youth Values and Future Leadership forum and the launch of the 2008 Salman Sayang Malaysia Charity Triathlon at the Perdana Lead ership Foundation yesterday.

Salleh was removed from office for misconduct by a six-member tribunal.

Ex-gratia payments were recently awarded to the six former judges of the Supreme Court (now Federal Court) who were sacked or suspended in 1988 — Salleh, Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman Pawanteh, Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Wan Hamzah Mohamed and Datuk George Seah — for “the suffering they endured”.

The government on Thursday revealed to Parliament that the total payout amounted to RM10.5 million.

Salleh received RM5 million while Seah and the family of the late Wan Suleiman each received RM2 million.

Wan Hamzah, Azmi and the family of the late Eusoffe each received RM500,000.

Dr Mahathir said the government should now also compensate former Rural Development Ministry secretary-gen eral Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Muhammad, who was acquitted of abetment in committing criminal breach of trust and of cheating involving RM9 million on Thursday.

“The government is in a mood to be very nice to people and they have a lot of money.

“I think Aziz should be given a lot more because he really suffered. Salleh did not go to jail like Aziz.

“There was a miscarriage of justice for Aziz,” he claimed. (Hakim-hakim berkenaan dipecat, kata Mahathir - Bernama 8/11/08)

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