KUCHING, Jan 23: Sarawak’s Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today applauded Judicial Commissioner Christopher Chin for adjudicating without fear or favour in Petronas against Sarawak government’s case today.
Chin has dismissed Petronas’ application to recuse him from hearing the Sarawak government civil suit over unpaid State Sales Tax (SST) amounting to RM1.3 billion.
In his ruling this morning, Chin said Petronas’ application was an affront to the judiciary, frivolous and without merit because the latter said his tenure was only temporary.
Petronas’ lawyers also said Chin’s appointment and future depended on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was also the advisor of the oil company.
Karim said such argument by Petronas’ lawyers should not have happened in the first place.
“I am a little bit slighted by that kind of argument whereby Petronas’ lawyers actually argued that Chin was only a temporary judge, and that he must decide in their favour or else he may not be promoted to a higher position by Mahathir.
“In this case. Chin has put all that aside, stood firm and decided that this sort of argument does not stay and there is no element of bias,” Karim said.
Karim congratulated Chin for his bravery in upholding the judiciary, and that it was a good decision.
“Chin also imposed RM50,000 cost on Petronas. This should serve as a lesson to lawyers for coming up with this kind of ridiculous and shameful argument. In the future, I hope no other lawyers will repeat the same when it comes to fighting for a case because it is very embarrassing,” Karim said. —DayakDaily