“They were not sacked. They were asked to retire early. It’s like optional.’
— Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
“They were sacked, it is true.”
— Nazri, a week later
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department was quoted in The Sun on Nov 6 2008 explaining in Parliament the reason the six ex-judges who were involved in the 1988 judicial crisis received pensions. Nazri had contended that the judges had not been sacked, as widely believed.
But on 13 Nov, Nazri made an embarrassing about-turn. The Malaysian Insider quoted the minister admitting to reporters in the Parliament lobby that he had made a mistake about the sacking of the judges. He said all the judges were sacked, but were paid their pensions on compassionate grounds.
In his defence, he said: “I did not have the facts and the letters with me at that time when I answered last week.”
Nazri’s flip-flop over the issue resulted in DAP’s Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh, trying to refer him to the Rights and Privileges Committee for misleading Parliament. However, the motion was rejected.
If it is a mistake, to err is human.