Saturday, November 29, 2008

Judge Chin tells why he's retiring early

Sat, Nov 29, 2008
The Star

Justice Datuk Ian Chin, who revealed the existence of a boot camp for judges, said he decided to go for early retirement as work had become "very stressful."

In a media statement distributed after attending a farewell gathering with Kota Kinabalu High Court staff yesterday, he said he no longer enjoyed working as a judge since last year.

"Suffice for me to say that all too often I found myself in circumstances where I had to make a stand which may be regarded as in defiance to a directive or instruction from my superior, which was very stressful to me," he said.

Justice Chin had said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had made thinly veiled threats against judges at the Judges Conference in 1997. He said Dr Mahathir threatened to sack judges who did not support him. Dr Mahathir has denied the claims in his blog.

Justice Chin, 60, tendered his resignation on July 16 and will leave office on Dec 1.

Acknowledging that his early retirement could be described as resignation, Justice Chin noted that only judges who had served for 15 years were entitled to full pension.

"I started as a Judicial Commissioner on March 1, 1992 and was made judge in August 1993. This meant I would have served 15 years as a judge after August 2008.

"It was not until Aug 22, 2008, that the law was amended to regard the period served as Judicial Commissioner as having served as a judge," he explained.

Justice Chin said he had found a position overseas. But that job meant that he had to leave before August, which would have resulted in him forfeiting his pension.

"I was of the view that I was giving up too much and so I forewent that opportunity," he said, adding that his leave was approved two months from September to November, giving him the right to a full pension with the exact date of retirement left open.

"Then I was assigned to an election case which resulted in such furore that it added to my unhappiness to continue working as a judge," he said, adding that this led him to set the date for his early retirement.

Judge Chin tells why he's retiring early
AsiaOne, Singapore