REBUTTAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF MALAYSIAKINI - RE: MATTHIAS CHANG "GETS HIS JUST DESSERTS" - BY STEPHEN CHANG PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 03 April 2010 17:10

Sir

Rozario in his article dated 1 April published in Malaysiakini wrote "to Chang, all I can say is 'sow what you reap' " by his indifference during the sacking of Salleh Abas, this so-called prominent and experienced lawyer decided that silence was bliss, so to him I say, "Matthias, you were party to making this bed so do not complain when you lie on it."

Rozario where have you been?  You should get your facts correct before you comment on matters of which you are ignorant and on Matthias.  It is on record and public knowledge that Matthias opposed Mahathir's interference with the judiciary.  He was one of the few lawyers who openly opposed Mahathir's sacking of Salleh Abas, the then Lord President of the Supreme Court of Malaysia.  He played a critical role in defending the judiciary in general and Salleh Abas in particular at that time.  Many prominent lawyers including Justice Eusoffe Abdoolcader commended Matthias for the stand he took.  So, Mr Rozario, please get your facts right if you wish to be seen as an objective opinion writer and not a gutter journalist spreading lies to defame.  For Rozario to describe the judge who committed Matthias to jail as "brave" shows a total lack of objectivity and a perverted mindset who is bent on discrediting Matthias. 

Matthias is not a member of any political party and has campaigned against injustice all his life.  In 2000 he was invited to be Mahathir's political secretary because of his untainted reputation as an independent-minded professional, not aligned to any political party, who is prepared to speak his mind and stand up to Mahathir as demonstrated in the Salleh Abas case.  He accepted the role during the last three years of Mahathir's premiership out of a sense of duty and service to the country, with the aim of doing good by providing objective advice to Mahathir, with no expectations of any favours and overt or covert rewards.  The key role of a non-partisan political secretary is to provide non-partisan objective advice.  This does not necessarily entail compromising one's principles. 

Lahore San, also in Malaysiakini, commented that "he (Chang) was a beneficiary of this system", implying that Matthias benefited from his role as political secretary to Mahathir.  One can try to do good for our country by either working within or outside the establishment.  It is a sad reflection of our country that it is assumed that whoever works within the establishment is there primarily for personal gain.  To date Matthias is still known as ordinary Enche (Mr) Chang, with no titles, still living in the same house, driving the same type of car, and having the same lifestyle as he did before he was political secretary to Mahathir.  If Matthias has benefited overtly or covertly, his enemies - and there are many, especially within the establishment - would be exposing his ill-gotten gains.  So, Mr San, produce some evidence. 

Like many who know Matthias, I salute his courageous stand.  By the way I am very proud that Matthias is my cousin.  We are as close as brothers and I write with in-depth knowledge of my dearest cousin.



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Last Updated on Saturday, 03 April 2010 17:16
 
DAY TWO: "I HAVE NO COMPLAINTS AT ALL [HERE IN PRISON] AND THAT I HAVE BEEN TREATED VERY WELL BY THE OFFICERS AT ALL LEVELS. MORE IMPORTANTLY, ALL OF THEM UNDERSTOOD THE REASON WHY I AM IN JAIL AND ON HUNGER STRIKE." PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 02 April 2010 21:25

Matthias Chang appeared to be physically exhausted, tired, and movement was slow but sounded very determined, strong-willed and mentally resilient.

Mr. Ho Sai Chong, President of the Federation of Kwong Siew Association of Malaysia persuaded Matthias Chang to call off his hunger strike as expressed by members of the Federation throughout Malaysia.

In response, Matthias Chang calmly said, “I appreciate and can understand all their sentiments expressed … But, I will go all the way till the end.”

“I have no complaints at all [here in prison] and that I have been treated very well by the officers at all levels. They have been very kind, courteous, professional, and decent to me. More importantly, all of them understood the reason why I am in jail and on hunger strike.”

Also present was Counsel David Ho who expressed his sincere thanks to the prison officers who allowed the visit today despite short notice.



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NILOUFER BHAGWAT: WHAT IS HAPPENING WILL RESULT IN A SERIOUS LOSS OF CONFIDENCE IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. NO LAWYER WHO IS A WITNESS WITH A TRACK RECORD OF ASSISTING THE COURT FOR THIRTY YEARS IS JAILED IN THIS MANNER. PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 02 April 2010 11:44

Dear Zulaiha,

What is happening will result in a serious loss of confidence in the justice system. As no lawyer who is a witness with a track record of assisting the Court for thirty years is fined and jailed in this manner for ' losing cool' or whatever else in the order.

Matthias has to be taken care of, monitored and advised correctly on the intake of fluids. I do not approve of his fast as the forces he is ranged against are too thick skinned and going to jail was adequate protest.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad among other leaders, organizations and intellectuals should persuade him to call off the hunger strike assuring him by releasing a press statement that the Contempt of Court Act amendments will be reviewed by a public campaign for this purpose. Eminent lawyers should also be urged to associate themselves with the campaign to amend the statute and to persuade Matthias that it will  be their collective effort to move for the amendments and on the signature campaign being initiated among lawyers and members of the public for amendments  with the support of public and political organizations  his hunger fast be called off.

Please do communicate this e mail to Mr. Zainur Zakaria among others.

Niloufer Bhagwat



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COMMITTAL ORDER PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 01 April 2010 17:38






The charge in the Committal Order is defective in that the judge failed to state precisely what is meant by “you lost your cool”. The judge further failed to mention about the abuse on his Counsels and on Matthias Chang and the unwarranted aspersions cast upon his character without basis during the proceedings.



Committal Order Page 1

Committal Order Page 2


 



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Last Updated on Thursday, 01 April 2010 17:52
 
PRESS RELEASE: MATTHIAS CHANG IS ON HUNGER STRIKE PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 01 April 2010 15:59

Matthias Chang is on Hunger Strike until Justice Noor Azian agrees not to abuse lawyers and/or litigants and the relevant authorities agree to review the draconian contempt law as provided under Order 52 1(A) of the Rules of the High Court 1980.



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