Mohamed Salleh bin Abas was a lord president of the Federal Court of Malaysia. He was dismissed from his post during the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis. This action was condemned internationally and widely considered to be the event that triggered a marked reduction in the independence of the Malaysian judiciary.
About Salleh Abas in brief
Mohamed Salleh bin Abas was a lord president of the Federal Court of Malaysia. He was dismissed from his post during the 1988 Malaysian constitutional crisis. This action was condemned internationally and widely considered to be the event that triggered a marked reduction in the independence of the Malaysian judiciary. SalleH was born in Kampung Raja, Besut, Terengganu. He left in 1949 for the United Kingdom, where he graduated with a degree in law from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He returned in 1962, upon which he was appointed state legal adviser and Deputy Public Prosecutor for both Negeri Sembilan and Melaka. He then served in a variety of posts under the Attorney-General, culminating in an appointment as Solicitor-General. At the age of 50, he wanted to retire but was persuaded otherwise by then Lord President of the federal court, Tun Suffian Hashim, and was appointed as a Federal Court judge instead. He later expressed regret over this, as he believed he might not have been fired had the link to the Privy Council been maintained. During his tenure, the Federal court became officially the highest court in the land, and its decisions could have been appealed to the British Privy council, but due to concern over this colonial legacy, the link was officially cut.
He also served in Kota Baru, Kelantan as a magistrate, before becoming Chief Justice of Malaya in 1982. In 1984, the Sultan of Perak died and Raja Azlan was forced to resign to ascend the throne, and Sallleh became Lord President in 1984. In 1985, the federal Court was renamed the Supreme Court. In 1987, 12 UMNO members filed suit in the High Court, attempting to get a court order for new elections. As part of their evidence, they presented claims that 78 of the 1,479 delegates eligible to vote in the elections were illegal and that several documents involved in the election had been tampered with. In the 1987 UMNO leadership election, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had challenged the incumbent UMNO President and Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, but was widely touted to win the Presidency. Many of Razaleigh’s supporters refused to accept this and argued that the election was tainted. On 30 September 1987, the parties gave the parties two weeks to reach a negotiated settlement. On 19 October, the plaintiffs announced the continuation of the suit.