I Was Not Influenced To Pick Ahmad Fairuz For CJ Post, Says Dr M

January 17, 2008 12:54 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he was not influenced by anyone when he picked Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim to fill the three top posts in the judiciary.

The 84-year-old former prime minister said it was his decision to opt for Ahmad Fairuz.

"I listen to unofficial views during conversations or at social gatherings. I consider the views but the final decision is mine," he said when testifying in the royal commission of inquiry into the Lingam video clip.

Dr Mahathir, who appeared calm and smiled at times, said the reasons for his decision are "something I don't tell people."

"It is my prerogative. I don't have to explain why," Dr Mahathir said when fielding questions posed to him in the inquiry.

At the start of proceedings, Dr Mahathir's counsel Tengku Sofea Jewa told the inquiry her client wished to convey his assurance that he would give his fullest cooperation and response to the best of his ability to questions put to him.

Responding to that, commission chaiman Tan Sri Haidar Mohamed Noor said it was his duty to conduct the inquiry and ensure the commissioners conduct the proceedings in a proper manner.

Besides Tengku Sofea, Dr Mahathir is represented by Datuk Dr Yaakob Hussein Merican and Datuk N. Chandran.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir, clad in a grey suit, entered the courtroom at 10.02am, accompanied by his three lawyers and several police officers.

He bowed in respect to the inquiry panel members and smiled to the lawyers, journalists and the public in the gallery before taking his seat in the witness dock.

Dr Mahathir's daughter, Marina, also attended the inquiry.