Malaysiakini one of the few truly independent Malaysian media voices, reports as follows:
Three judges in Anwar’s trials promoted
Arfa’eza A Aziz
11:25am Wed Jul 23rd, 2003
Two infamous High Court judges who were involved in the controversial trials of jailed ex-deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim will be among the four judges to be promoted to the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, appellate court justice Pajan Singh Gill, who heard and dismissed Anwar’s appeal against his sodomy charges, will be elevated to the Federal Court.
Sources close to the judiciary revealed that justices Arifin Jaka and S Augustine Paul are expected to take their oath at the Istana Negara tomorrow. There will be an official ceremony at the Federal Court later in the day.
The piece goes on to report that several more senior judges were bypassed.
Another report, this time from the Daily Express newspaper in the Malaysian state of Sabah reports on an equally worrying event:
Chirac presented Kuala Lumpur World Peace Award
PUTRAJAYA: French President Jacques Chirac was presented with the inaugural Kuala Lumpur World Peace Award by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad at his office here Tuesday.
Chirac, who was on a six-hour visit to Malaysia, received the award, initiated by the Malaysian World Peace Foundation, in a brief ceremony after an hour-long meeting with Dr Mahathir at Bangunan Perdana Putra here.
The award was in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the peaceful resolution of international conflict, courage in defence of principle and commitment to cooperation among the nations of the world.
Delivering the citation, United Nations special envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Razali Ismail said that in a world torn by conflicts and confrontation, Chirac mirrored “the best of his country by holding to the principles of multilateralism and consultation in resolving the disputes that assail humanity.”
“At a time when the world has been shocked and saddened by the horrific consequences of terrorism and war, he focuses renewed emphasis on humanistic values and concerns in international politics,” he said.
He said Chirac had remained steadfast to the ideals he upheld throughout his life and career, where, as the French Prime Minister and President, he steered a difficult and delicate course through his nation’s modern history.
“Through recent times, during which the world was driven by the global war against terrorism, he sought common ground to advance and sustain peace in our world.
“He defended courageously the principle that conflicts must be resolved through mediation and international cooperation based on international law, respect for human rights and economic development,” he said.
Razali also said that Chirac had shown outstanding commitment to equitable distribution of development among the global community of nations.
Christopher Hitchens might have almost been offering an alternative citation in this recent piece of his:
Here is a man who had to run for re-election last year in order to preserve his immunity from prosecution, on charges of corruption that were grave. Here is a man who helped Saddam Hussein build a nuclear reactor and who knew very well what he wanted it for. Here is a man at the head of France who is, in effect, openly for sale. He puts me in mind of the banker in Flaubert’s L’Education Sentimentale: a man so habituated to corruption that he would happily pay for the pleasure of selling himself.
Here, also, is a positive monster of conceit. He has unctuously said that “force is always the last resort”. Vraiment? This was not the view of the French establishment when troops were sent to Rwanda to try to rescue the client regime that had just unleashed ethnocide against the Tutsi. It is not, one presumes, the view of the French generals who are treating the people and nation of Cote d’Ivoire as their fief. It was not the view of those who ordered the destruction of an unarmed ship, the Rainbow Warrior, as it lay at anchor in a New Zealand harbour after protesting against the French official practice of conducting atmospheric nuclear tests in the Pacific. (I am aware that some of these outrages were conducted when the French Socialist Party was in power, but in no case did Chirac express anything other than patriotic enthusiasm. If there is a truly “unilateralist” government on the UN Security Council, it is France.)
The menu for the glittering awards banquet was unavailable, but I’m picking:
Soup of Hypocrisy Putrajaya (with noodles)
Perfidy Pommes de Terre
Assorted Smelly Wheezes (I mean, cheeses)
Bon appetit and Selamat Makan!