Archive for category Court

How far back do we go before being seditious becomes ridiculous?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
10 September 2014

Today, a Malaysian preacher was charged with sedition for something he wrote in his Facebook account in November 2012. That is about 22 months ago.

How far will the authorities go back to decide what is seditious and what is not?

Would what Tunku Abdul Rahman say about seeking independence or what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in the constitutional crisis of 1983 and 1993 be considered seditious under the Sedition Act 1948? Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

2 Comments

Putrajaya’s sledgehammer strategy might blow up in its face

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
1 September 2014

Somewhere in there, lurks a strategy to the Najib government’s decision to use the Sedition Act as a dragnet against citizens of this country.

Critics argue that it is to cower Malaysians into silence, to discourage dissent of any kind, to send a chilling message that thinking is not allowed.

Others say Putrajaya is borrowing out of the playbook of the PAP government in Singapore, a government famous for its sledgehammer approach. In fact, just recently, Umno’s main mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia even suggested that Malaysia look south. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

2 Comments

AG should resign or be replaced if he cannot discharge his duty of public accountability to explain whether he has been guilty of selective and malicious prosecution in recent slew of charges against PR MPs and Assemblymen

Although the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail is vested with the sole discretion under Article 145 of the Malaysian Constitution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence” , he owes the Malaysian people a duty of public accountability to explain whether he has been guilty of selective and malicious prosecution in the recent slew of arrests and charges against Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen.

The new-fangled charge against the PKR Vice President Rafizi Ramli yesterday, for example, was just incredulous and most extraordinary.

Rafizi is charged under Section 504 of the Penal Code on “Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace” which states: “Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any offence, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both”.

Rafizi was accused of issuing “defamatory and provocative statements” against Umno members through a statement he made in February, linking Umno with an incident where a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a church.

There have been legion cases of DAP, PKR and PAS members being “defamed” and “provoked” by UMNO/BN leaders and spokespersons, particularly since the 12th General Elections in 2008, but have anyone been arrested and prosecuted in the past six years under Section 504 of the Penal Code, which could lead to the disqualification of a sitting Member of Parliament or State Assemblyperson, resulting in by-elections?

Absolutely none. Why then has this new-fangled charge been trotted out against Rafizi which could lead to his disqualification as MP for Pandan followed by a parliamentary by-election? Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

1 Comment

DAP lawmaker accuses A-G of selective prosecution in sedition charge

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
29 August 2014

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok wants to transfer her sedition charge from the Sessions Court to the High Court in a bid to expose what she says is selective prosecution by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

The DAP national vice-chairman said in an application to transfer her case that Gani refused to frame charges against racists and extremists who threatened public order, ridiculed other races and those from minority religions to create disharmony and riots.

She said the High Court was the appropriate forum to investigate that the charge against her amounted to selective prosecution.

She also said the matter could only be brought to the Federal Court if her trial started in the High Court.

“There are many delicate legal questions that will be raised because the A-G’s discretionary powers superseded a citizen’s right to equal protection under the law,” said Kok in the affidavit sighted by The Malaysian Insider.

Sessions judge Norsharidah Awang will hear the application to transfer the case on September 18. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

No Comments

Is the government running scared of religious authorities?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
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 »

Print Friendly

3 Comments

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

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
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 »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

Karpal thrilled us with his delivery in court, former judge recalls

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
May 02, 2014

Judges at the Court of Appeal used to eagerly anticipate Karpal Singh’s presence before them, and news of his appearance would immediately give them a ‘lift’, a former appellate court judge recalled this evening.

Speaking at a memorial service for Karpal in Petaling Jaya, Datuk Mahadev Shankar remembered how the fiery lawyer was popular with the judges, all of whom held him in high esteem.

“After I became a judge, I had the opportunity to watch Karpal in action, and I found that he was the best lawyer who ever appeared before me.

“I would rank him the best lawyer in the country,” Mahadev told some 100 people at the memorial organised by Karpal’s former schoolmates from SMK La Salle and St. Xavier’s Institution.

Other speakers at the memorial were Karpal’s son and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, DAP advisor and Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang and former deputy minister of ‎Land and Cooperative Development and former Penang deputy chief minister Dr Goh Cheng Teik.

“He never wasted the court’s time. When he came into court, he went straight for the jugular, without mincing his words.

“More often than not, I agreed with him. Other times, I did not, and I judged against him.

“But this was the opinion of all the judges that time: we put him as number one. When we heard he was coming to court that day, we immediately got a lift,” said the former judge. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

8 Comments

Now Putrajaya wants longer jail sentence for Anwar

V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
April 13, 2014

Putrajaya looks to have turned the screws further on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after prosecutors filed a cross-appeal to enhance the five-year jail term against the opposition leader who was found guilty of sodomy last month.

His lawyer Karpal Singh said further Anwar’s appeal against the conviction and sentence appeared to be expedited for hearing in the Federal Court as the court registry had already sent him part of the appeal records.

“After going through the records, I found that the prosecution has appealed to enhance Anwar’s jail term,” Karpal told The Malaysian Insider.

This comes almost two weeks after Putrajaya had also cross-appealed against a lighter sentence imposed on Karpal who was found guilty of sedition.

On March 11, Karpal was fined RM4,000 but the prosecution filed a cross-appeal, urging the Court of Appeal to impose a stiffer penalty. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

1 Comment

For Karpal, no going out the back door

Aimee Gulliver
Malaysiakini
Apr 11, 2014

INTERVIEW Nearly 30 years on from one of the first of many threats on his life, Karpal Singh still refuses to slip quietly out the back door.

Then, he was urged by police officers to secretly leave a courtroom to avoid the danger posed by a man, claiming to have spiritual powers, who threatened to attack Karpal for suing the sultan.

Karpal refused, saying “if I go through that back door now, I will go through back doors all my life.”

The 74-year-old lawyer-politician maintains the same stoicism today, in the face of yet another attempt by the government to not only kill his political career, but also to put him in jail.

The sentence for his recent sedition conviction, a RM4,000 fine, precludes Karpal from holding political office and imposes a five-year disqualification period on running for Parliament again.

Malaysia has no upper-age limit to enter Parliament, and Karpal said he would be 82 when he would be eligible to return to politics.

“They are not doing it fairly; it is not the right way to do it,” Karpal said of the attempt to remove him from politics.

But he plans to give the government “a run for their money” on appeal.

“I will fight them to the Federal Court, and if at the end of it I have to go, then that’s too bad. I’ve got nothing left to lose.” Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

6 Comments

Malaysia must stop being an international laughing stock as “land of mega financial scandals without criminals” with all patriotic Malaysians demanding that those responsible for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal must be identified and brought to book

I would have won if someone had betted with me whether the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) “mother of all scandals” had ever been raised or discussed at the second 2014 Cabinet meeting yesterday, especially after the shock double acquittal of two former Transport Ministers in their multiple charges in connection with the scandal.

On Monday, former Transport Minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy walked free from the High Court from cheating charges in connection with the PKFZ scandal, the second former Transport Minister to be acquitted in less than three months in connection with the PKFZ scandal.

But clearly, none in the Cabinet meeting yesterday wanted to rock the boat and everybody prefered to “Let sleeping dogs lie”!

But this irresponsible, craven and cowardly attitude cannot be acceptable to Malaysians who want to see the fulfillment of the Malaysian Dream – a united, harmonious, just, competitive and great plural Malaysia nation built on the principles of tolerance, justice, freedom, integrity and good governance where there is zero tolerance for corruption.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

9 Comments

Judges “misinformed”, Allah ruling tantamount to persecuting Christians – Archbishop Pakiam

BY JENNIFER GOMEZ | OCTOBER 21, 2013
The Malaysian Insider

The head of the Malaysian Catholic Church today said that the decision of the Court of Appeal on the Allah issue was tantamount to persecuting Christians in Malaysia.

Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (pic) noted that the three judges were grossly misinformed in arriving at the decision to ban Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah.

He said Christians in Malaysia have been using the word peacefully for centuries and “we do not accept the statement of these judges”.

“As president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Malaysia, I want to say that the three judges were grossly misinformed in their finding that the word Allah is not essential or an integral part of Christianity,” said the archbishop in a statement today.

He added that the first article of faith in the creed for all Christians is “I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth”.

“As such, any Christian who denies or modifies this statement of faith, incurs excommunication and would be considered a heretic,” he stressed, adding that Allah was the Bahasa Malaysia translation and the Arabic equivalent of “One God”.
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

4 Comments

Would Malaysia be formed 50 years ago if Court of Appeal Allah judgment was the law of the land

Barely a month after the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, the recent Allah Judgment has raised many important questions for the founding of and the future of our country.

The first point of the 18 point Sarawak agreement and the 20 point Sabah (then North Borneo) agreement emphasized the freedom of religion that must be enjoyed by Sarawak and Sabah as minimum demands for the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

It should be noted that in the Cobbold Commission Report of 1962, the views of the Chairman and the British members of the Commission were for the insertion into the state constitutions of Sabah and Sarawak a specific provision to guarantee the freedom of religion.

It should also be noted that the Malayan members of the Commission, Ghazali Shafie and Wong Pow Nee both agreed that while Islam would be the national religion for the Federation, they were ‘satisfied that the proposal in no way jeopardises freedom of religion in the Federation, which in effect would be secular’.

Given the importance of the freedom of religion to the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak, would there have been widespread support for the formation of the Federation of Malaysia if the Court of Appeal Allah judgment was the law of the land?

What would have been the reaction of the peoples of Sabah and Sarawak to the findings of the judgment prohibiting the usage of the word “Allah” in the Herald and that the usage of the name “Allah” is “not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity”?

Or would history have been overturned and Malaysia, as we know it today, comprising of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak not be in existence?
Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

2 Comments

We Want to Know Who Killed Altantuya

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News
24.8.13

The Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case has taken another appalling turn. First, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who seemed to have more of a motive for killing the Mongolian model, was acquitted in 2009, without his defence being called. Now the Court of Appeal has freed the two police commandos convicted by the High Court of actually killing her and blowing her body up with a C4 explosive.

The Court of Appeal acquitted Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar because it ruled that the judge who heard the case in the High Court committed serious misdirection. Among other things, he did not allow then deputy prime minister Najib Razak’s aide-de-camp, DSP Musa Safri, a key witness, to be called to testify, and he failed to establish how the two accused came to possess the C4 and whether there was common intention between them to commit murder.

The Malaysian layman, however, doesn’t want to know the legal implications. He is concerned only with the moral aspects. He knows that Sirul made a cautioned statement describing what he and Azilah did to Altantuya that fateful night, and that he mentioned the offer of a reward of RM50,000 to RM100,000 for killing her.

This cautioned statement was ruled not permissible as evidence by the judge, Mohd Zaki Yassin, and the two commandos were never asked during the trial as to who made that offer to them. But it seemed clear that Sirul and Azilah were merely hitmen. They didn’t know the victim. If they had a motive to kill her, it would appear to be only to collect the reward.

That being so, it was, however, never asked in court who instructed them to kill Altantuya. To the layman, it is extremely strange that the prosecution did not ask that crucial question. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

15 Comments

Acquittal of murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu – Najib could not have a more powerful “soft launch” of his new national branding campaign of “Endless Possibilities”

With a triple strike in the past month, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could not have a more powerful though most ironic “soft launch” of his new national branding campaign of “Endless Possibilities” in place of his earlier “lame-duck” 1Malaysia slogan.

Firstly, “Endless Possibilities” broke new ground when the Registrar of Societies (RoS) forced a DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) re-election on pain of deregistration of DAP, although the RoS is unable to give any reason why he is “dissatisfied” with the DAP party elections last December, a triumph of the seven-month-old and continuing Umno/BN “DDD” – “demolish/destroy DAP” – campaign.

Secondly, “Endless Possibilities” opened up new vistas with the official approval for the screening of the Tanda Putera movie in cinemas nationwide on August 29, including one depicting a young Chinese man urinating in front of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official residence provoking the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

There are no historical facts, whether photographs or documentation, including the White Paper issued by the National Operations Council on 9th October 1969 entitlted “The May 13 Tragedy” and Tunku Abdul Rahman’s book “May 13 – Before & After”, to show that such a urination incident was not a figment of imagination and a most scurrilous and incendiary lie in a multi-racial society.

Even if it is completely fictional, it is the height of irresponsibility to depict the urination incident in an officially-funded movie because it could incite inter-racial distrust, discord and hatred, completely inimical to nation-building efforts particularly on the occasion of the country’s 56th National Day. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

29 Comments

So, who killed Altantuya? And why?

NEWS ANALYSIS BY JAHABAR SADIQ, EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
August 23, 2013

Seven years on, no one has paid the price for the death of Altantuya Shaariibuuu. And no one knows why the pretty Mongolian was killed one night in October 2006.

But today’s Court of Appeal decision does not close the file on her mysterious murder.

Instead, the ruling to acquit former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and former corporal Sirul Azhar Umar raises more questions than ever.

Who killed her? Why? Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

14 Comments

Lawyers instructed to institute legal proceedings against Utusan Malaysia for recycling the lies of booklet “The Equity Report (CEC Election Fraud)” of fictitious “Father Augustus Chen”

I have instructed my lawyers to institute legal proceedings against Utusan Malaysia for recycling the defamatory lies of the booklet “The Equity Report (CEC Election Fraud)” of fictitious “Father Augustus Chen”.

In a statement on August 5, 2013, I said:

  • “Father Augustus Chen” who authored the booklet alleging irregularities in the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections last December was “a total figment of imagination of the Umno/BN ‘war-room psy-war’ campaign against the DAP before and after the 13th General Elections”;

  • The allegations of DAP election irregularities by the fictitious “Father Augustus Chan” in his booklet is a regurgitation of the many lies and baseless allegations which had been published in some 400 anti-DAP reports and write-ups in UMNO/BN controlled media since January, particularly in Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times;

  • The appearance of the booklet of lies by the fictitious “Father Augustus Chen” in July was to provide a semblance of justification for UMNO/BN and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to act against the DAP, enabling Umno/BN leaders and Cabinet Ministers to quote the fictitious “Father Augustus Chen” as authority why action, such as invalidation of DAP CEC elections and even deregistration, should be taken against the DAP.

Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

11 Comments

DAP National Legal Bureau should comb through the over 200 Utusan reports targetting and character-assassinating DAP since January to file multiple defamation suits against the Umno newspaper

The DAP National Legal Bureau headed by DAP MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo should comb through the over 200 Utusan Malaysia reports and articles targetting and character-assassinating DAP since January to file multiple defamation suits against the Umno newspaper.

In these reports and articles, Utusan Malaysia have ad nauseum repeated lies and falsehoods against the DAP and DAP leaders, particularly over the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections at the DAP National Congress in Penang last December, in utter disregard of the basic canons of journalism with regard to ethics, honesty and truth.

This campaign directed by the Umno/BN “war room” to demonise and destroy the DAP reached its peak in April just before the 13th General Elections, and although its tempo slowed down immediately after the general elections in May, its momentum was accelerated in June and July, culminating in the directive by the Registrar of Societies to the DAP on CEC re-elections.

Although the Registrar of Societies did not give any reasons to the DAP for its directive on CEC re-elections, two false allegations had been prominently canvassed in the Utusan media offensive in the past six months to justify any RoS invalidation of the CEC elections last December:

  1. That 753 DAP delegates had not been notified of the DAP Congress and denied the right to vote for the new CEC.

  2. That there were 547 phantom delegates, primarily from Penang, who voted at the DAP Congress last December.

Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

8 Comments

Stop this public lynching

by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
Friday, 19 July 2013

Commentary

The decision of the AG to charge Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee marks the half-way point in the public lynching of these two young people.

What were they guilty of?

A moment of unthinking madness; an act of stupidity and idiocy; a prank in bad taste; racial and religious insensitivity; youthful arrogance – yes, these criticisms and much more in the way of scorn and public shame and odium can be heaped on their foolish and misguided attempt to draw attention to themselves.

But to charge them for sedition and for a criminal act under the penal code! And then to deny them bail as if they are a major threat to public peace and order. Please!

Let us not forget that prominent politicians guilty of even more in your face racial and religious taunting have got away scot free, with the last notable racist political figure even put up as a candidate during the recent election. And what about even earlier incidents such as kris brandishing? Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

18 Comments

Pakatan’s uphill GE13 battle in the courts

The Malaysian Insider
July 15, 2013

The simple summary of Pakatan Rakyat’s suit in court today is that it did not get a fair election. The question now is, what can and will the courts do?

No matter how you slice or dice it, it is tough for Pakatan to win its suit against the Election Commission (EC) because courts here are loath to disturb anything to do with elections. It is even rare for election courts to overturn polls results.

What more nullifying the whole Election 2013.

Also, Malaysian courts have in recent years not demonstrated a willingness to confront the government of the day on various issues – be it conversions of minors to land matters.

That said, it is remains important for Pakatan to thoroughly detail its cases in which it believed fraud prevented it from winning on May 5, 2013. In dispute are at least 43 seats before the courts.

But what is quite clear is that the EC’s handling of the indelible ink over the past five years would have made the Keystone Kops proud. Never have we seen a commission blunder and make a hash of things the way it has. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

7 Comments

21st Century Courts, 20th Century Mindset

― Fahri Azzat (Loyarburok.com)
The Malay Mail Online
July 14, 2013

JULY 14 ― You lost your case. The judge decided against you because he found the other side’s witnesses more credible compared to yours and so preferred their testimony to your witnesses’. You complain loudly to any who care to listen, ‘How the hell can the judge prefer their witnesses over mine?’ You angrily tell your lawyer to appeal.

But if your lawyer was honest with you, he will tell you not to bother. Don’t waste your time, money and effort, he should tell you. If you ask why, he will tell you that the appellate court almost always trusts the trial judge’s assessment of a witness’ credibility. They will only depart from it in exceptional cases when the trial judge got it so perversely wrong.

The reason for this was alluded to in the recent Federal Court decision of Isidro Leonardo Quito Cruz v PP [2013] 2 CLJ 1025. It arose when Abdull Hamid Embong FCJ explained why appellate courts did not make finding of facts. He referred to the Privy Council decision of Antonio Dias Caldeira v Frederick Augustus Gray [1936] MLJ 137 (decided on 14 February 1934) which held as follows:

“Now, it settled law that it is no part of the function of an appellate court in a criminal case or indeed any case to make its own findings of fact. That is a function exclusively reserved by the law to the trial court. The reason is obvious. An appellate court is necessarily fettered because it lacks the audio-visual advantage enjoyed by the trial court.” So the appellate court’s reason for not reviewing the credibility of the witnesses during the trial and accepting the trial judge’s opinion on them is because it lacks the audio-visual advantage of the trial court.

Although that may be an acceptable reason in 1936, it is seems incongruous, if not perverse in 2013. After all, audio-visual equipment is now cheap, mobile and ubiquitous. Read the rest of this entry »

Print Friendly

8 Comments