Archive for category Constitution

Pandikar exceeded his powers and functions when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state

Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia exceeded his powers and functions as Speaker of Parliament when he passed judgment on the Malaysian Constitution ruling that Malaysia is not a secular state.

Can the Speaker of Parliament interpret the Constitution and make a Constitutional ruling which becomes an authority quoted by all and sundry as the law of the land?

Of course not, and to be fair to Pandikar, he is fully aware of this, which is why he qualified what he said in Parliament as only his interpretation “merely for the purposes of this House” and not an opinion to be “an authority” in the country.

However, such caveat by Pandikar will not prevent his “ruling” from being quoted by various quarters as an “authority” or even used by Ministers in future parliamentary meetings to justify their arbitrary, dubious and controversial stand that Malaysia is not a secular state.

Furthermore, it is not within the province of the powers and functions for a Speaker to give his interpretation or ruling on a “hot potato” issue as to whether Malaysia is (i) secular; (ii) not secular; or (iii) Islamic state.

Pandikar should have decided on the issue before him, whether to refer the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom to the Committee of Privileges without wading into this political minefield. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO Selangor motion on hudud implementation withdrawn as Selangor PR State Assembly members from DAP, PKR and PAS fully united and had decided to vote against UMNO motion in keeping with the PR Common Policy Framework that justice, freedom and good governance and not hudud are the common PR agenda priorities

With 74 days to go to celebrate the 57th Merdeka Day Anniversary and 90 days to celebrate the 51st Malaysia Day Anniversary, the nation’s greatest strengths – our ethnic, religious and cultural diversities – seemed to have become our greatest weaknesses.

Voices of intolerance, hatred, conflict and extremism filled the public spaces and are trying to drown out the voices of tolerance, peace, harmony and moderation, finding surprise ally in the authorities who have abdicated their responsibilities to uphold the law and keep the peace in the country.

Suddenly, Malaysia has become an even more abnormal country – symbolized by the continuing mystery of the 102-day missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 tragedy/disaster with 239 passengers/crew on board and the 13-month disappearance of the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak from major national issues after the 13th General Elections in May last year.

There are so many laws in the country, but Malaysia has never been more lawless in recent weeks.

The Inspector-General of Police should be the Chief Custodian of Law in the country but he has become the No. 1 Law-breaker in refusing to enforce the supreme law of land – the Malaysian Constitution.

There is even a quiet coup d’etat in the Cabinet, with the hitherto third-tier Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs usurping the powers of second-tier and even first-tier Ministers in the Cabinet when the Minister concerned, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom shunted aside both the Prime Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law and the constitution, Nancy Shukri to give the unilateral, arbitrary and unconstitutional statement in Parliament that Malaysia is not a secular state.

This is the first time in the nation’s 57-year history that a Minister said in Parliament that Malaysia is not a secular state – in total contradiction to the statement by Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman who said in Parliament more than half a century ago on May 1. 1958: “I will like to make it clear that this country is not an Islamic state as it is generally understood; we merely provided that Islam shall be the official religion of the state”. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP wants Jamil Khir referred to rights and privileges committee over Islamic state claim

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2014

DAP wants Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom to be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee for his claim in Parliament yesterday that Malaysia was not a secular state.

Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) filed a motion under Standing Order 36(12) to refer Jamil to the committee for allegedly confusing the House.

Speaking to reporters later, Ling said Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has agreed to call Jamil Khir for an explanation.

In his written reply to Ling, Jamil said the formation of Malaysia was based on the Islamic administration of the Malay sultanates and that the Malay sultans were heads of Islam in their respective states.

“This was reinforced by Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which places Islam as the religion of the federation, though other religions can be practised peacefully anywhere within the federation,” he said in the reply.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who was also present today, said the first three prime ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn – would have been “horrified” with Jamil’s answer.

“They would have been completely horrified by the answer as it is completely against their understanding of the foundation of the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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M’sia not secular state – what say Sabah, S’wak?

Jun 17, 2014

YOURSAY ‘Position of Sabah and S’wak, where there is no official religion, is clear.’

Malaysia not secular state, gov’t says

Aries46: The Federal Court has in no uncertain terms declared that we are a secular nation and this has been reaffirmed even in a High Court decision last month.

Even a layperson is aware that we are a constitutional monarchy and our constitution is based on secular and democratic principles under parliamentary supremacy.

Even Muslims are subject to the civil courts notwithstanding the fact that the Syariah Court has jurisdiction over their religious and customary family matters.

While the civil court may not have purview over matters related to the syariah court, the latter is also not empowered to trample on the constitutional rights and provisions under civil law that is legally binding and exclusive to non-Muslims, under the guise of conversion.

This is an injustice universally under any law, Islamic or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Look up the history books, Malaysia is a secular state

16 June 2014

Here we go again. A Malaysian minister is insisting that Malaysia is not a secular state, and that is anchored in Islamist roots because there are the Malay rulers and state Islamic laws exist for Muslims.

That argument might have worked if it was just Malaya that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datul Seri Jamil Khir Baharom was referring to in a written reply in Parliament to Oscar Ling Chai Yew (DAP-Sibu) today.

But you know what, Mr Minister, we are now in Malaysia and perhaps you should go read your history books.

This country was formed in 1963, and brings together Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. Singapore was told to leave in 1965.

Jamil Khir is not the first minister to believe that Malaysia is not a secular state and is possibly an Islamic nation because Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said as much years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is this what the 10th MCA President has been reduced to, hankering only after Cabinet positions …?

Instead of just mechanically re-launching the MCA School of Political Studies and the forum on the Thoughts of Tun Tan Cheng Lock with empty words, it would be more worthwhile if the MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai remembers the spirit and struggle of the MCA founder and used the occasion to demonstrate that he is a worthy successor to Cheng Lock.

In 1957 under Cheng Lock’s leadership as MCA President, together with other Alliance leaders Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun V T Sambanthan, the Alliance leadership submitted a memorandum to the Reid Constitution Commission stating clearly and unequivocally that the religion the country shall be Islam with the assurance: “The observation of this principle shall not impose any disability on non-Muslim nationals professing and practising their own religions and shall not imply the State is not a secular state”.

What has Liow and the present MCA leadership done to uphold Cheng Lock’s uncompromising principle during the Merdeka days that Malaya and now Malaysia will forever be a secular state? Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the government running scared of religious authorities?

15 June 2014

In the past week or so, Malaysians were reminded once again that the country is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. That the Federal constitution is supreme.

So why are elected governments appear to fear appointed religious officials who are now thumbing their noses at the government, the country’s top lawyer and the supreme law?

Why aren’t they standing up to these religious authorities and put them in their place? The government of the day, be it in Putrajaya or any of the state capital, was voted by all Malaysians and not just one particular group.

The government represents all, not just one particular group. So do the police and all branches of the government. Instead they now appear to just consider the views of religious authorities rather than following the law of the land. Read the rest of this entry »

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Liow and Mah should seriously reconsider whether they want to go down in history as politicians who are prepared to be Ministers regardless of political principles

The Free Malaysia Today report by Anjulie Ngan “MCA anticipates cabinet reshuffle soon” today is double confirmation – of imminent Cabinet reshuffle but no imminent principled stand by MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong whose only concern is to get back into Cabinet at whatever cost.

Liow told the reporter that he anticipated Najib to have a cabinet reshuffle soon but he did not know exactly when – as this is up to Najib to decide.

But isn’t Liow, together with Mah, going to ask Najib to put on hold any Cabinet reshuffle as MCA and Gerakan will not be part of Barisan Nasional Cabinet until UMNO can give a solemn undertaking that it would not push for implementation of hudud law whether at federal or state level?

This is not just because of the Umno Selangor Assemblyman for Sungai Air Tawar Kamarol Zaki Abdul Malik’s motion in the Selangor State Assembly next week to push for the implementation of hudud.

Kamarol’s motion is just one of triple UMNO actions in the past three months which showed that MCA, Gerakan and the other 10 Barisan Nasional component parties have no say whatsoever in Barisan Nasional policy decision-making and what UMNO says, does and decides are the law in Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »

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Time for A-G to explain his decisions on charges against opposition leaders, say lawyers

The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2014

Lawyers today demanded Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (pic) come out of his cocoon and explain several questionable decisions made by his office relating to charges against opposition leaders which were later thrown out of court.

They are particularly aghast that Gani had decided to go ahead and re-charge opposition leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad for his failure to give a 10-day notice to the police under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) to organise a rally.

This was despite the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of Nik Nazmi on April 25 after striking down a punishment provided under the PAA as unconstitutional because it breached the basic rights of citizens to assemble peacefully.

Yesterday, activists Mohd Bukhairy Sofian, Edy Noor Ridzuan and Badrul Hisham Shaharin, or better known as Chegubard, were also granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the lower courts as the judges said they were bound by the Court of Appeal ruling.

The lawyers said that Gani must realise that society’s expectations of him have increased, and he now owes them an explanation.

Gani must defend the integrity of the office he had been holding since 2001, they said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stopping those who spew hate in the name of religion

May 07, 2014

If there are any police officials still interested in being honest brokers and if the rule of law means anything anymore in Malaysia, a whole clutch of speakers at yesterday’s seminar on the Allah word and Christianity should be arrested and charged with sedition.

In some other countries, they would be charged with hate crimes because hate is what they were trying to make Malaysians do. Hate Christians and hate Malaysians of the Christian faith. Read the rest of this entry »

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Double advice to Ka Siong – don’t tell a bare-faced lie and don’t be caught immediately for such downright dishonesty

Let me give a double advice to the MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong: Don’t tell a bare-faced lie and don’t be caught immediately with such downright dishonesty.

Ka Siong committed both sins today when he rebutted my media conference statement in Batu Pahat yesterday that the MCA President, Liow Tiong Lai had missed a “golden opportunity” to say “No” to the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who had attended the launch of the MCA’s “Stronger Together” programme at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday that MCA cannot accept Najib’s unilateral and arbitrary announcement in Alor Star last Thursday that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government had never rejected hudud.

This was because what Najib said was not the original Barisan Nasional stand, and furthermore, violates an important BN principle that any change of Barisan Nasional policy must be the result of the consensus of all component parties and not unilaterally and arbitrarily by any one party, even if it is UMNO.

Ka Siong should know better than anyone that the Barisan Nasional Federal Government’s stand, even going back to the UMNO, MCA and MIC founders like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun V.T. Sambanthan was that hudud was inconsistent with the secular 1957 constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia on US watch list for limitations on religious freedom

The Malaysian Insider
May 03, 2014

Malaysia has been placed on a watch list by an advisory body of the United States government over concerns about its limitation on freedom of religion, putting it on a par with countries like Afghanistan, Cuba, Indonesia, Laos, Russia and Turkey.

In its 2014 annual report, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) placed Malaysia on Tier 2, one level down from Tier 1 (countries of particular concern) which lists countries like Myanmar, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan, among others.

“USCIRF found that the intertwining of religion, ethnicity, and politics in Malaysia complicate religious freedom protections for religious minorities and non-Sunni Muslims,” the commission said in the report.

USCIRF is an independent US government advisory body that monitors religious freedom worldwide and makes policy recommendations to the American president, the secretary of state and Congress. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hudud’s practical problems: The non-Muslim witness, state boundaries and the Constitution

by Boo Su-Lyn and Joseph Sipalan
The Malay Mail Online
MAY 4, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Even if PAS wins Parliament’s nod for its hudud bid, lawyers say the Islamist party will face even greater hurdles when the controversial law is implemented in Kelantan.

They said not only does the Islamic penal code run contrary to the Federal Constitution, it would also have limited reach in that it could not prescribe punishment on criminals who flee the state’s borders.

To complicate things further, the Shariah Court cannot compel a non-Muslim witness to testify before it and cannot cite them for perjury or contempt of court as its jurisdiction only covers Muslims, they said.

“It’s unworkable because non-Muslims will not be subject to those provisions, which means your witnesses, your accomplices who are non-Muslims, will not appear in those cases,” Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong told The Malay Mail Online.

“It’s non-compellable. I don’t have to answer your questions, let alone attend court,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hudud has no place in present constitutional structure, say legal experts

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
May 01, 2014

Hudud can be enforced in Malaysia only after a new constitution is drawn up to make the nation an Islamic state, constitutional law experts said.

They said the 1957 Merdeka constitution declared that Malaysia was a secular state and Islamic criminal law cannot co-exist with other federal penal legislation.

The lawyers said a legal challenge could be mounted even if the constitution was amended to implement hudud as this would amount to causing irreparable damage to the basic structure of the supreme law.

Furthermore, they said any attempt to introduce a private member’s bill to implement hudud in Kelantan could be legally challenged for going against the constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal’s last thoughts on hudud, sedition act and ties in Pakatan

The Malaysian Insider
APRIL 29, 2014
LATEST UPDATE: APRIL 29, 2014 04:59 PM

In one of his last interviews before his sudden death in an auto accident on April 17, Karpal Singh spoke to DAP mouthpiece The Rocket on matters close to his heart and his political struggle, including the hudud, the Sedition Act that he was charged with, and inter-party relations with PAS and PKR.

Karpal’s (pic) interview, which is available on The Rocket’s website and its April edition, is reproduced with permission.

Q: You have been frank about issues close to your heart and never hold back in taking a strong stand on issues that other DAP leaders don’t dare to vocalise. Why?

I have been elected by my constituents and it is my duty as an elected member of parliament to speak the views of the people. As long as one abides by the law and is in line with democratic principles under which we operate, no leader should be afraid to air his views.

It would be a sad day for DAP if we hold back just so we don’t get into trouble. It won’t be in the interest of the party or the country. I articulate certain things and issues that are close to the hearts of the people I represent, not just a party stance per se. Of course the party stance is also in line with the constitution.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Why hudud is unconstitutional and impractical

– Low Teck Kuan
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

PAS has recently been extremely persistent in pushing for the implementation of hudud in Kelantan. Despite numerous warnings by other political parties against their agenda, PAS seems hell bent on introducing a Private Members Bill in Parliament to further their own political agenda.

However, here lies the big question: Is it possible to implement one set of criminal law (hudud) in one state and have the rest of other states and Federal Territories obeying another set of criminal law?

Certainly no, because let’s be clear on this, you cannot have one set of law for one state on crime and another set of criminal law for other states. Not only it is impractical, it also seeks to disrupt the basic structure and relationship between the Federal and the states which was laid down by our founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman. It is also unconstitutional as PAS’s constant attempt at introducing hudud also seeks usurp federal powers at the same time.

Part VI of the Federal Constitution defines the relations between Federal and the states, where therein lies Article 73 to 79 of the Federal Constitution which laid down Parliament’s (Federal level) exclusive power to make law. Specifically, Article 74 (1) states that “…Parliament may make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the Federal List or the Concurrent List…” while Article 74(2) states that “…the Legislature of a State may make laws with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the State List…” Read the rest of this entry »

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Assemble peacefully without fear, Malaysians told

The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

The public can now assemble without fear following a Court of Appeal ruling yesterday that a breach of a provision in the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) does not amount to an offence, human rights lawyers and lawmakers said.

They said the unanimous decision of the three-man bench led by judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof upheld a fundamental right under the Federal Constitution, which is the right to assemble peacefully.

This means the upcoming May Day anti-GST (goods and services tax) rally will no longer be deemed “illegal” and the public need not worry about the any action being taken against them unless they destroyed properties or committed criminal offences.

The lawyers also saluted the judges who were prepared to uphold the supreme law of the land instead of allowing a basic right that should be enjoyed by citizens to be a mere illusion.

The judgment also said those who went against public order could only be charged under the Penal Code, the Road Transport Act or local government by-laws.

In declaring the punishment provided under the PAA as unconstitutional because it violated the right to assemble peacefully, the appellate court also struck out the charge against Selangor legislative assembly deputy speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad for failing to give 10 days notice under the Act before organising the May 5 Blackout Rally last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karpal Singh a political man of his times

Bridget Welsh
Apr 23, 2014

TRIBUTE Much has been written about the recently deceased Karpal Singh.

His skills as a lawyer, his fight for basic rights and contributions to the law, his commitment to his family and his struggle for ordinary people as a humanitarian are just some of the themes raised in the many eulogies and reflections in the past few days since he and his friend and assistant Michael Cornelius lost their lives.

The reactions from ordinary Malaysians have reaffirmed the spirit of dignity and humanity that are an integral part of the national character and stand in stark contrast to the uncouth provocative remarks of a handful of individuals who, blinded by insecurity and hubris, revealed how far they have deviated from common decency.

I knew Karpal Singh as a politician, and the remarks that follow are some of my observations on his important role in Malaysian political life and his political legacy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib and Hihammuddin should intervene and drop all charges against RMAF pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in 13GE

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to intervene and drop all charges against Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections.

If Pakaktan Rakyat is running the Federal Government in Putrajaya, I would have recommended that Major Zaidi should be promoted for showing utmost patriotism going beyond the ordinary call of duty instead of indulging in the mean and petty vindictiveness of clipping his pilot’ wings and reassigning him to a desk job, followed by charges before a court martial which could land him in jail for two years.

Why is the Najib government so unreasonable and even perverse as to want destroy Malaysia’s fragile international image with the latest scandal of sending a patriotic air force pilot to jail for two years not because of any heinous crime or moral turpitude but because of the basic honesty of a decent human being in speaking the truth about the “indelible ink” used in the last general elections which was in fact quickly washabke and deletable?

In contrast, the really corrupt and heinous characters in Malaysia, particularly the “big sharks” of corruption who steal tens and hundreds of millions of ringgit of public properties and wealth, enjoy total immunity and impunity,. Read the rest of this entry »

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Second Open Letter to Najib and Cabinet – Are BN leaders prepared to work with PR leaders to ensure that there could not be another repetition of May 13 riots in Malaysia?

For the second time this year, I am taking full advantage of the Age of Information Technology which enables the instant communication of information with information travelling at the speed of light to pen this Second Open Letter this year to the Prime Minister and all Cabinet Ministers just before their third Cabinet meeting of the New Year of 2014.

Members of the Cabinet who have not read or not informed of this Second Open Letter before the Ministers meet for their third Cabinet meeting later this morning clearly belong to the dinosaur epoch and are not fit to be in the Cabinet – and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have a very strong reason to get rid of these dead-wood and half-past six Ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle.

In my first Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet before their first Cabinet meeting on 8th January 2014, I urged the first Cabinet meeting to send our a clear and unmistakable message to end the national drift and loss of leadership and direction to create an united, harmonious, just, and competitive and great Malaysian nation.

I zeroed in on the nation’s quintuplet of crisis which warranted priority and immediate attention by the Cabinet, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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