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“The judgment, handed down by Judge Ian Chin of the Sarawak High Court, demonstrated astonishing independence from the Malaysian government. Chin knew the price of that independence. After a much-maligned judgment against a politician belonging to the ruling Barisan National government in 1998, he had been verbally threatened by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, and then enrolled in a five-day boot camp with other judges for “re-educational” purposes. While there, the primacy of the government’s interests was hammered into the judicial civil servants.3 Crushing the independence of the courts was done systematically under Mahathir. In 1988, the autocratic Premier had arbitrarily dismissed the country’s top judge, Lord President Salleh Abas, thereby keeping the remaining judges on a short lead.4 Even today, in 2014, Malaysia’s judges still have difficulty ruling independently when government interests are at stake.”