Archive for category Judiciary

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 »

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Teoh Beng Hock appeal verdict a turning point?

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
10 September 2014

In the last few years, the reputation of Malaysia’s judiciary for fairness and adherence to do justice strictly according to the law has taken a severe beating.

Notorious cases such as the Linda Joy, Anwar Ibrahim, Nizar vs Zambry, and other less politically visible cases have raised public doubts as to whether our judges, especially in cases with politically sensitive outcomes, are able to arrive at fair and just decisions.

Or whether in fact the opposite has taken place with judges more concerned with career advancement and playing ball with the powers that be. Read the rest of this entry »

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Court of Appeal reverses open verdict ruling in Teoh Beng Hock’s death

BY V. ANBALAGAN |TMI
5 September 2014

The Court of Appeal has set aside the open verdict by a coroner on the death of Teoh Beng Hock five years ago, ruling that “a person or persons were responsible for his death”.

Judges Datuk Mohamad Arif Md Yusof, Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer delivered separate judgments.

Mah said the coroner and the High Court erred in law in applying the wrong standard of proof.

He said‎ it should be on the balance of probability and not beyond reasonable doubt, adding that a person or persons were responsible for his death.
This unprecedented verdict may force the police to reopen investigations into Teoh’s death.

Coroner Azmil Muntapha on January 5, 2011 returned a verdict that Teoh’s death was neither a suicide nor homicide.

The High Court on December 1, 2011 upheld that decision. Read the rest of this entry »

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WikiLeaks gag order: open justice is threatened by super-injunctions

Richard Ackland
theguardian.com
30 July 2014

Australian courts have increasingly been issuing suppression orders preventing the publication of legal proceedings – and an implicit dislike of the media is partly to blame

Last month, an Australian judge issued a super-duper injunction preventing the reporting of bribery allegations which involved south east Asian political figures, and in some cases their family members.

The allegations have arisen in a criminal case before the supreme court of Victoria. The super-injunction, which not only prevents publication of the allegations, but the detailed terms of the injunction itself, only came to light because WikiLeaks published the intimate details on July 29.

So while WikiLeaks, anonymous blogs and social media are buzzing with the details of these sweeping court orders, which apply Australia-wide, the mainstream media cannot trespass in this territory for fear of facing proceedings for contempt of court. This is the ludicrous nature of overreaching suppression orders, and this one is to last for five years unless earlier revoked.

The internet has made them so porous as to be useless. Only those who publish above the radar with sizeable assets and readily identifiable journalists and executives (at least ones that are not corralled in foreign embassies) are effectively injuncted from publishing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to review all flawed judgments by the Malaysian judiciary whether because of racial bias or corruption in the past 26 years after the first judicial crisis of 1988

After the 13th General Elections of May 5, 2013, the country was shocked with the appearance of a former member of the judiciary making racist and seditious statements and speeches undermining the unity, harmony and goodwill among the different races and religions in the country.

One of the most racist and seditious speeches in the nation’s history was made by the former Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Noor Abdullah at the forum titled “GE13 post-mortem Muslim leadership and survival” organised by UiTM Malaysia Alumni Association and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semanjung in Kuala Lumpur in May 2013 where Mohd Noor warned that the Chinese Malaysians must be prepared for a backlash from the Malay community for their “betrayal” in the recently concluded 13th general election.

He said: “The Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship – that is true. Because they plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power”.
Mohd Noor’s racist and seditious speech was defended on the ground that it was “as a whole constructive and within the boundaries of what is in the federal constitution”, and in line with his expertise as a former judge.

Up to now, Mohd Noor has not been able to quote chapter and verse as to which article or part of the Malaysian Constitution justified his making irresponsible, fictitious, inflammatory, racist and seditious allegations that the Chinese in Malaysia “plotted to seize political power even though they already have economic power” or his criminal and gangsterish threat of a “Malay backlash” to a completely non-existent “Chinese betrayal towards the Malay’s hand of friendship” ? Read the rest of this entry »

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The danger of a former judge dressing up opinions as facts

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
23 July 2014

Want to know what has troubled the Malaysian judiciary all these years? Why it is the butt of jokes and why it has as much credibility as Datuk Ibrahim Ali?

Look no further than former chief justice (CJ) Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad (pic).

This is a man who shades the truth: who spews half-baked nonsense and tries to dress it up as fact. But most alarmingly, this is a man who is not averse to using his standing in society to divide Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Judges must remain neutral even out of office, says Ambiga

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
4 July 2014

Biased or discriminatory views expressed by judges even after their retirement reflect negatively on the judiciary and undermine public perception of their independence, former Bar Council chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said.

“The prestige of the judiciary is determined by judges themselves, not just when they were on the bench but even when they retire,” she said in a statement, responding to former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad’s criticism of the Bar Council’s role in the drafting of the National Unity Consultative Council’s (NUCC) three bills to replace the Sedition Act and aligning the Bar with the opposition.

On Monday, Hamid said he did not want to join the NUCC as he feared being used by certain parties, who wanted to cast aside Malay rights and the position of Islam in the country.

He said the opposition had “taken over” the NUCC, and questioned why the opposition, particularly the Bar, was allowed to determine policies and according to their agendas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was justice done to the Herald?

Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Malaysiakini
July 2, 2014

COMMENT Personally I was upset with the decision by the Federal Court refusing leave for the Herald to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal. As a lawyer I found the decision was weird. As a Muslim I am of the view justice was not done to the Herald.

We all know that the issue raised by the Herald in the Federal Court was very, very important. Needless to say that being the final arbiter of any legal controversy the Federal Court should have held that the Herald ought to be given the leave to appeal.

Yes, an appeal to the Federal Court is not automatic, meaning that the Herald needed to obtain leave to appeal. Nevertheless, the practice has been that the apex court would normally grant the leave when the issue at hand involves novel and crucial legal or constitutional question and the same also attracts public interest.

No doubt the issue raised by the Herald had met all the legal prerequisites for leave to be duly given. It had raised a very important constitutional issue namely the correct interpretation of Article 11 of the federal constitution in particular Article 11 (4). Via the appeal, the Herald sought to be enlightened by the apex court the proper meaning and perimeters of freedom of religion enshrined in Article 11 of our highest law of the land. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is anyone running Malaysia?

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
24 June 2014

Who is in charge? What is happening in Malaysia? What’s going on? How can this happen?

Any of these questions or all of the above occupies the minds of many Malaysians these days, coming to the fore with vengeance every time there is a misstep by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his comrades or when the rule of law and provisions of the Federal Constitution are supplanted by racial and religious supremacists.

Increasingly, the sense is that the inmates are running the asylum.

The PM and elected representatives are too afraid to put the extremist elements in their place because their cupboards are full of skeletons or they are unsure if their religious credentials can stand up to scrutiny.

So they go with the flow directed and dictated by fringe groups and Islamic religious authorities.

The result: a heap of a mess and more questions than answers.

Questions that keep Malaysians awake deep into the night such as: 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

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 »

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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 »

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No sedition in heaven: A tribute to the Tiger of Jelutong

– Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
The Malaysian Insider
April 24, 2014

I refer to Raja Shahrir’s “Thank you for showing us what courage is”, in Free Malaysia Today, April 19, with regard to his moving tribute to the late great Karpal Singh.

I beg the kind indulgence of the reader to allow me to say a few words honouring the intrepid Karpal.

It is my firm belief – and there is no shadow of doubt about it – that besides Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang, Karpal belongs to that triumvirate of the opposition leaders in Malaysia which has been consistently maligned and slandered by the powers that be since day one.

However, I would also like to state unhesitatingly that Karpal was the most personally abused among the three, and hounded politically in a persistent and nefarious manner by the establishment.

Yet, Karpal never backed down nor did he ever cease being faithful to the cause. He remained committed until the very end for the reform agenda and for the general movement of the collective struggle of the Malaysian people.

Consider the Tiger’s records of courage: Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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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 »

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Malaysian Judiciary: How Low Can It Go?

Koon Yew Yin
4.4.2014

The independence and integrity of Malaysian Judiciary are now at the tipping point. During the past few years the attention of Malaysians has been riveted by the exposure to an unprecedented number of court cases with important political ramifications. These cases include the following

• Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder case

• N.Kugan’s death during police custody

• Teoh Beng Hock’s death

• the PKFZ scandal

• the NFC scandal

• various election appeal cases arising from the 2013 general elections

• Anwar’s Sodomy I and II case

• Karpal Singh’s conviction for alleged sedition

At no time in the country’s history has there been such a large and wide variety of politically charged cases being brought to the country’s courts of law.

If we take these cases individually and collectively, the overall impression that can be obtained from the many articles and analysis which have appeared in the internet media is that the Malaysian judiciary has come under tremendous political pressure when arriving at their judgements. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya seeks stiffer penalty against Karpal for sedition

by V Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
April 04, 2014

Veteran lawyer Karpal Singh, who was fined RM4,000 for sedition last month, could now be jailed after prosecution filed a cross appeal, urging the court to impose a stiffer penalty.

Karpal was found guilty of sedition and fined by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on March 11.

However, he told The Malaysian Insider yesterday that he received a copy of the notice of appeal filed by the prosecution, urging the Court of Appeal to enhance the sentence.

“They want me in jail,” said Karpal, who stepped down as DAP chairman following the conviction and sentence last month.

“Well, they are entitled to file a cross appeal.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Retired judges should stay out of politics, say lawyers, ex-judge

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
22nd March 2014

Retired judges must refrain from making remarks of a political nature or get involved in politics as such conduct touched on their integrity, said lawyers and a former judge.

They said unlike retired civil servants, the public still expected retired judges to have the traits of serving judges.

Their response came following the revelation that retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah had campaigned for Barisan Nasional in the Kajang by-election.

On Wednesday, Noor told a group of Umno members at a ceramah in Taman Koperasi, Kajang that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not have absolute power to influence the judiciary to set aside the sodomy acquittal of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Read the rest of this entry »

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Denying BN deposit in Kajang by-election an “impossibly tall order” but there is no other more appropriate occasion than Kajang by-election for voters to forfeit BN of election deposit

(Speech at the DAPSY Ceramah for the Kajang by-election held at the Sungei Chua BasketBall Court, Kajang on Sunday, 16th March 2014 at 9.30 pm)

When I first suggested at the fifth Pakatan Rakyat Convention in Shah Alam the previous Saturday (8th March) that the Kajang voters should do the impossible in the by-election by making the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate lose deposit, I had said that this was a “very tall order” but the occasion warranted going for such an extraordinary result.

I want to repeat my call tonight to the Kajang voters in the by-election to perform the impossible to make the Barisan Nasional candidate lose the deposit on polling day on March 23.

I would describe this not just a “very tall order” but an “impossibly tall order”, which is not going to be easily achieved as it would need a super-herculean effort by the Kajang voters on polling day.

There are some 40,000 voters in Kajang state assembly seat. In the 13GE in May last year, the voter turnout for the constituency, comprising 48% Malay voters, Chinese 41%, Indian 10% and others 1%, was as high as 87.9%. Read the rest of this entry »

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If DAP or any of Pakatan Rakyat parties had done what Perkasa had done in going against the King’s Speech on the National Unity Consultative Council, we would have been accused of being anti-national, anti-Agong and traitors

In his royal address opening Parliament on Monday, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not only endorsed the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) set up by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to preserve the country’s harmony and seek a common ground on various religious and ethnic matters, he “called on all parties to refrain from making any statement or action that might be deemed provocative or sensitive”.

The Yang di Pertuan Agong said: “Be mindful that when unity disintegrates, the country will head towards destruction. Therefore, we should reinforce unity by cultivating mutual respect and moderation in life.”

But the Yang di Pertuan Agong has been openly challenged and defied by the provocative and insensitive statements and actions of extremist organization Perkasa and other NGOs, led by Ibrahim Ali, which rejected “wholesale” the NUCC and have set up the National Unity Front (NUF) as an alternative to the NUCC.

Yesterday, former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamed was announced as the first chief of the Perkasa-backed NUF to challenge what the Yang di Pertuan Agong said in his Royal Address to Parliament on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Attempts to disqualify Anwar and Karpal as MPs and to hold by-elections in Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gelugor fly in the face of Najib’s claim that he is serious about national reconciliation and national consensus

(Speech 2 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

The traumatic and heart-rending MH370 tragedy is not the only event to darken the horizon of the country in the past week.

The other two somber developments of the country were the attempts to disqualify the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh as Members of Parliament and to hold parliamentary by-elections in the Permatang Pauh and Bukit Gelugor constituencies, the former probably as early as before the next Parliamentary meeting in June.

The attempts to disqualify Anwar and Karpal as MPs fly in face of the claim by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that he is serious about national reconciliation and national consensus and is prepared to rise above partisan differences to end national drift and loss of leadership and direction in the country in the past 10 months since the 13th General Elections.

In his written reply to the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang on National Reconciliation Plan, Najib smuggled for the first time in the past 10 months a reference to the 1Malaysia Policy, which he seemed to have forgotten or abandoned although he promulgated as his signature policy when he first became Prime Minister in April 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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