Photo of Chief Justice Zaki Azmi courtesy of Malaysiakini
On November 18, 2008, Karpal Singh, in his capacity as the chairperson of the newly-formed parliamentary caucus on judiciary independence and integrity, challenged Zaki Azmi to resign as Chief Justice of Malaysia within 7 days. "In the event Zaki does not step down as CJ within seven days from today, I will have no alternative but to move a motion against him under Article 127 of the federal constitution for having misled the country with his so-called clarification," said Karpal further. "There is an audio recording (to prove that he lied), I think you can take my word for it what has been quoted in Kuching. There is no doubt about it."
The above was related to a report in the New Straits Times which quoted Zaki Azmi as having committed corruption. Zaki delivered a speech at a convention in Kuching on Nov 7 which he recalled an incident in 1987 and allegedly said the following:
"It took me six months to be nice, to bribe each and every individual to get back into their good books before our files were attended to. That was my personal experience, and I am telling this to all the clerks and all the registries to stop this nonsense".
Zaki however issued a clarification later, saying the reporter has misinterpreted him. Karpal Singh claimed to have an audio recording of Zaki Azmi's speech and now challenged the Chief Justice to sue him for defamation. Karpal Singh had moved a motion in the Parliament to debate the matter but was turned down twice by the Speaker. Now Karpal Singh has resorted to appealing to the Agong and the Council of Rulers to remove Zaki Azmi as Chief Justice of Malaysia.