Archive for category Judiciary
Immediate past president, now Aliran executive committee member
27 March 2013
Malaysians were rudely shocked to learn that the High Court in Shah Alam put itself in a straitjacket and refused to see the glaring injustice that was clearly highlighted by Klang MP Charles Santiago in a suit that was decided on 14 March 2013.
Mr Santiago wanted the Court to review the principal and supplementary electoral rolls for his parliamentary constituency.
It was very disappointing that Judge Vernon Ong said that the Court was bound by Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 and cannot review a gazetted electoral roll, literally throwing to the wind the conventional wisdom that “where there is a malady the Court will provide a remedy” – even if it has to use its inherent powers.
The Judge further noted that the Court could not compel the Election Commission (EC) to respond to the queries of the MP as there was no provision in the Act for it to do so. While it may be true that there is no such provision, what is far more important is whether there is specifically any provision in the Act prohibiting the EC from responding?
Why was this logical point entirely overlooked by the Court? If the Court was the bastion of justice as provided by the inherent powers of providing a remedy for a malady, it would have been the natural consequence to fall back on this logic. But surprisingly, this was not the case.
While it may be true that the Court was bound by Section 9A of the Election Act, shouldn’t the Court invoking its overview functions have also looked into the legality of this section?
Is it constitutional? Is it constitutional to perpetuate a wrong in spite of fraud, probably even of a criminal nature, that were clearly established by Mr Santiago? Read the rest of this entry »
― The Malaysian Insider
March 14, 2013
MARCH 14 ― PKR’s Chua Tian Chang was charged with sedition today for allegedly linking Umno to the on-going Sulu intrusion into Sabah.
Two surprises here.
One, that the Sedition Act is being used despite Putrajaya saying that the law will be repealed.
Two, allegedly offensive statements to burn Malay-language bibles by Datuk Ibrahim Ali and that against Hindus by academic Datuk Dr Ridhuan Tee have yet to see the police working as hard as they have with the Batu MP.
What does that say about double standards? Read the rest of this entry »
Feb 14, 2013
QUESTION TIME I became a journalist at the Business Times, then a standalone newspaper, in 1978.
Three years later in 1981 Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister of Malaysia, its fourth, succeeding Hussein Onn.
I have followed his career quite closely since and frankly I am not impressed. He started off with promise – and promised a lot – but fulfilled none if any.
In fact I would go so far as to say that he was positively the worst prime minister this country has ever had.
Through destruction of institutions such as an independent judiciary, running roughshod over civil servants, bringing his brand of power, patronage and poor economics into decision making, and making use of oppressive laws he used an iron fist to rule and in the process brought more harm to this country than any other person alive or dead.
Much of the problems of Malaysia can be traced back to him and he has made it difficult for his successors to make major changes going forward, much of which would involve unwinding processes and linkages he had put in place before. Read the rest of this entry »
Pengiraan Detik 76 Hari ke PRU13 – Sokongan kepada pembersihan korupsi badan kehakiman sejak 25 tahun lalu, termasuklah membuka semula dakwaan 33 mukasurat pada 1996 oleh pemberi maklumat badan kehakiman pertama di Malaysia melibatkan 112 dakwaan terhadap 12 orang hakim
Saya menyokong sepenuhnya tuntutan tiga bekas hakim Mahkamah Rayuan supaya dibuka semula kes lama dakwaan rasuah terhadap para hakim, termasuklah 33 mukasurat aduan oleh pemberi maklumat badan kehakiman pertama di Malaysia pada 1996 melibatkan 112 dakwaan rasuah, penyalahgunaan kuasa dan salah laku terhadap 12 orang hakim, kerana saksi-saksi mungkin bersedia untuk tampil kedepan sekarang.
Trio Tan Sri V.C. George, Datuk Shaik Daud Ismail dan Datuk K.C. Vohrah adalah betul apabila mereka mengatakan bahawa orang ramai tidak berpuas hati kerana dakwaan sebelum ini tidak dilihat dengan cermat.
Malah, berikutan testimoni di dalam Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja terhadap kes video klip V.K Lingam (2007-2008), saya telah mengulangi di Parlimen apa yang telah saya bangkitkan di Parlimen pada 1996, menuntut sisatan menyeluruh ke atas 112 dakwaan korupsi, penyalahgunaan kuasa dan salah laku kehakiman terhadap 12 orang hakim yang telah dibuat oleh hakim Mahkamah Tinggi ketika itu, Dartuk Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah Idid.
Ini kerana testimoni di dalam Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja Klip Video Linggam berkenaan rasuah dan korupsi hakim, termasuklah Hakim Besar ketika itu, mengingatkan rakyat Malaysia, terutamanya pemimpin politik, Ahli Parlimen, para hakim dan peguam kepada ucapan pertengahan Mac yang terkenal, ketika Peguam Negara Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah mengejutkan rakyat Malaysia dengan pendedahan “33 mukasurat surat layang” yang membuat 112 dakwaan rasuah, salahguna kuasa dan salah laku terhadap 12 hakim pada satu Persidangan Hakim di Kuching pada March 1996.
Mohtar secara terbuka mengeluarkan arahan kepada polis untuk memulakan siasatan bagi “mencungkil” dan “mengheret ke muka pengadilan” “konspirator”, “pengkhianat” dan “unsur-unsur khianat” yang cuba “mencemarkan nama baik badan kehakiman dan menumpaskan keadilan” di negara ini.
Empat bulan kemudian, Mohtar mengumumkan kes tersebut ditutup apabila beliau mendapati seorang hakim Mahkamah Tinggi merupakan orang di belakang 33 mukasurat surat layang terhadap badan kehakiman dan hakim itu telah pun meletakkan jawatan. Read the rest of this entry »
76-Day Countdown to 13GE – Support for the clean-up of judicial corruption in the past 25 years, including re-opening of the 33-page allegations in 1996 by Malaysia’s first judicial whistle-blower involving 112 allegations against 12 judges
I fully support the call by three former Court of Appeal judges for the re-opening of old cases of graft allegations against judges, including the 33-page complaint by Malaysia’s first judicial whistleblower in 1996 involving 112 allegations of corruption, abuses of power and misconduct against 12 judges, because witnesses might be prepared to come forward now.
The trio, Tan Sri V.C. George, Datuk Shaik Daud Ismail and Datuk K.C. Vohrah are right when they said that the public was not satisfied that previous allegations had been properly looked into.
In fact, following the testimonies in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the V.K.Lingam Video Clip (2007-2008), I had reiterated in Parliament what I had raised in Parliament in 1996, calling for full investigations into the 112 allegations of judicial corruption, abuses of power and misconduct against 12 judges which had been made by a sitting High Court judge at the time, Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah Idid.
This is because the testimony at the Lingam Video Clip Royal Commission of Inquiry about bribery and corruption of judges, including the then Chief Justice, reminded Malaysians, especially political leaders, MPs, judges and lawyers of the notorious “Ides of March” speech in 1996, when the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah shocked Malaysians with the revelation of a “33-page poison-pen letter” which made 112 allegations of corruption, abuses of power and misconduct against 12 judges at the Conference of Judges in Kuching in March 1996. Read the rest of this entry »
Month-long jail sentence on “Occupy Dataran” student Umar Mohd Azmi outrageous and devastating reminder before 13GE that even under Najib as PM, the criminal justice system still sucks
The month-long jail sentence together with the maximum fine of RM1,000 on “Occupy Dataran” student Umar Mohd Azmi has become a national and international cause celebre because it is utterly outrageous as well as a devastating reminder just before the 13th General Elections that despite all the sloganeering about government, economic, educational, social and political transformation programmes, the criminal justice system in Malaysia still sucks even under the four-year premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
I am now in Sydney or I would have visited the protest camp set up by student activists outside the Kajang prison to demonstrate my support, sympathy and solidarity with Umar at the gross injustice of the harsh sentence imposed on him for obstructing a public official from performing his duty.
Why was Umar imposed the harsh penalty of a maximum fine of RM1,000 together with a one-month jail sentence, when the maximum sentence for an offence under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing any public servant in the discharge of his public functions was a maximum jail sentence of three months or with maximum fine of RM1,000 or both?
One powerful reason why there must be change of Federal government in Putrajaya in the forthcoming 13th general elections is that the country is teeming with cases where the criminal justice really sucks like the case of Umar. Read the rest of this entry »
By CPI | 05 December 2012 11:39
The following below is an account of public flogging under an Islamic system in Pakistan. It is an eyewitness’s description which should provide pause for those who want to see Islamic norms prevail in our judicial system.
However, it should be noted that even under our present British-derived justice system, flogging or ‘judicial caning’ as it is sometimes kindly described, is also widely practiced in Malaysia though it is done in the privacy of the prison compound rather than in public as is the Islamic practice.
Although the number of judicial canings is not known, it is believed to run into the thousands and is especially inflicted on what are deemed to be serious offenders such as drugs traffickers and offenders of unnatural sex crimes, e.g. sodomy.
Read the rest of this entry »
Over the weekend, in his speech to the state-sponsored NGO gathering “Himpunan Barisan 1Malaysia” at the Putra World Trade Centre, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said:
“Why fix it (the government) if it’s not broken? It’s not broken, far from it. Our country is the envy of many other nations.”
Both at the thousand-people Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat dinner in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday night and the People’s Green Assembly at Dataran Merdeka this morning at the conclusion of the historic 14-day 300-km Kuantan-Kuala Lumpur trek, I had posed the same question whether the “Malaysian government is broken and needs to be fixed?”, and the answer is a thunderous, powerful and united affirmative!
Fortunately, the Malaysian government has not broken down completely, all the more why it must be “fixed” immediately before it reaches a point of no return.
There is a long list why the Malaysian government is “broken” after 55 years of UMNO/BN rule and needs to be “fixed”, but I will only refer to the following instances: Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
27 October 2012
Twenty five years ago, Malaysia witnessed what one person could do to sustain his lust for power. His unabated lust for power unleashed the worst traits in the Barisan Nasional to imprison 106 innocent Malaysians to keep the BN in power.
The man behind this dark episode in our history was none other than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
On 27 October 1987 the rule of law was discarded, natural justice was ignored, the role of the judiciary was overridden, parliamentary democracy was sidelined so that he could cling on to power at all costs and by all means.
As Prime Minister, Home Minister and Justice Minister, Mahathir rode roughshod so that his position would remain safe and sound and that there would be no one to challenge him.
Today, more than ever, we must remember this shameful part of our history and wonder whether this will be repeated when the results of the 13th general election are announced. Read the rest of this entry »
Change of government needed to undo all the adverse effects of 25-year Operation Lalang on democracy, human rights and national institutions
Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Operation Lalang which brought about the darkest days for democracy and human rights in the nation’s history.
There was not only the arrest of 106 Malaysians, including opposition leaders – 16 of whom were from the DAP, including MPs and State Assemblymen – trade unionists, social activists, environmentalists, Chinese educationists and religious workers, there was also the wholesale attacks on press freedom with the closure of three newspapers, the merciless attacks on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law resulting in the sacking of the Lord President and two Supreme Court judges and the series of undemocratic legislation which caused a tectonic shift in the Malaysian political landscape, subordinating the legislative and judicial branches to the Executive or to be more exact to the fiat of one person, the Prime Minister of the day.
The Government Transformation Programme of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has promised to make Malaysia “the best democracy of the world”, but after more than 42 months of his premiership, Malaysia falls far short of the conditions to be a “normal democracy” let alone the “world’s best democracy”, as illustrated by the refusal by the Prime Minister and the ruling UMNO/BN coalition to make a public commitment that they would fully accept the verdict of the voters in the 13th General Election and would peacefully and smoothly transfer Federal power to Pakatan Rakyat if this is the verdict of the Malaysian electorate in the ballot box. Read the rest of this entry »
― Othman Wahab
The Malaysian Insider
Sept 22, 2012
SEPT 22 ― Thank you to The Malaysian Insider for being upfront about the fact that Saifuddin Abdullah is a minority and that his views, no matter how enlightened, do not represent that which prevails in Umno.
In fact, let us not get carried away with nice words and intelligent discourse or even the occasional Oxford-speak. I only ask Malaysians to ponder about these questions. Read the rest of this entry »
— Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
August 05, 2012
AUG 5 — Why am I so disgusted with the Barisan Nasional (BN) government?
I take my citizenship seriously. I was born in Malaysia. My siblings were born in Malaysia. My mother spoke only two languages: her mother tongue, Tamil and Malay. My father was a civil servant for decades. I’m a Malaysian.
My school friends are in Malaysia. My parents were cremated here, their ashes loosed in the waters off Port Dickson. My siblings, my wife’s siblings and most of our friends live in Malaysia. I desire to live nowhere else. I am entrenched.
My upbringing and my beliefs cause me to think of everyone as my neighbour. I take seriously God’s command to love Him with my every breath, thought and action, and that I should love my neighbour as myself. I’m a citizen.
I remember daily the story the Messiah told in answer to the question: Who is my neighbour? In the story of the Good Samaritan, the neighbour is the one in need, the downtrodden everyman, to whom I am to show mercy.
I recognise that government and leadership are necessary. Without “people in charge,” such as police, lawmakers and government officials, we’ll have anarchy: bandits will reign; our cities will be like Baghdad, Beirut, or Bogota.
Those cities exemplify what happens in the absence of good government: the strong, the well-funded, and the bigots will suppress the unarmed. Mubarak did it in Tahrir Square. Najib did it in Merdeka Square.
The purpose of a government is to create, maintain and promote conditions of equity, harmony and equality through the right use of authority. A government is judged by how it treats the weak. How shall we judge the BN government? Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 26, 2012
JULY 26 — Proham notes that it is refreshing to see a High Court decision re-affirming the time honoured principle that an executive decision must be based on a proper interpretation of the law and the application of reasonable and rational consideration of relevant facts.
On July 24, 2012, Justice Datuk Rohana Yusof allowed an application for certiorari to quash the Minister’s order made on July 1, 2001 under section 5 of the Societies Act where he had declared the Coalition for Clear and Fair Elections (Bersih) as a unlawful movement.
The decision illustrates the pitfalls of administrative decisions which are not consonant with provisions of the law and the Constitution but are made relying on faulty appreciation of the law and on unreasonable and irrational considerations of unverified or irrelevant facts supplied normally by aides.
Another important aspect of the case is the re-affirmation of another principle that in a democratic system of governance under the Constitution, the intervention of an independent judiciary able to make judicial decisions affecting aggrieved parties without fear and favour is of paramount importance bearing in mind too, that in our court system the right of appeal is not shut to parties dissatisfied with the decisions. Read the rest of this entry »
— Justice Seeker
The Malaysian Insider
Apr 12, 2012
APRIL 12 — In reaching her decision on the Lynas matter, High Court judge Rohana Yusof obviously was not interested in the separation of powers or the raison d’etre of a court system which is the attainment of justice.
I just read her reasons for not giving the residents leave to challenge the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s decision to give Lynas a temporary operating licence to run its controversial plant in Gebeng.
She said that as a parliamentary select committee and the minister of science and innovation were handling two separate hearings, it would not be proper for the courts to give the 10 residents their opportunity for judicial review.
Rohana then went on to say that it would not be proper to circumvent Parliament and the minister. Really? Read the rest of this entry »
By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — The Dewan Rakyat Speaker’s reliance on the rule of sub judice to shut down discussion of the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal in Parliament is flawed, a recent court decision shows.
The High Court, in a contempt suit filed by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (SYABAS) against a Selangor government lawyer and PAS organ Harakah last year, had held that the courts must be cautious in applying the sub judice law and must also take into consideration constitutional provisions on the freedom of speech.
According to the judgment sighted by The Malaysian Insider today, Justice Ariff Yusof, when rejecting the application, had stressed that the common law rule on sub judice must be moulded “in the light of fundamental liberties provisions”.
“The court cannot believe the sensitivities of the average Malaysian can be so different so as to incline the court to adopt a completely different juristic approach which relegates freedom of expression below the sub judice rule,” he had said. Read the rest of this entry »
Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria should intervene against the harsh and excessive one-year jail sentence imposed on imam Hoslan Hussein for throwing his shoes at the Federal Court judges
For the past few days, Malaysian sense of decency and propriety had been pulverised by a battery of blows which collectively signal that something is very rotten with the Najib administration which is marking its third anniversary next month, viz:
the one-year jail sentence by the Federal Court for contempt of court by imam Hoslan Hussein who flung his shoes at the three-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkifli Ahmad Makinuddin on February 22;
Two years for the High Court judge to produce a 70-page judgment on the murder trial of Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was blown to bits with C4 explosives, which was totally unconcerned about the motive of the murder.
The denial of welfare aid and farming subsidies to disabled Sarawak farmer Frusis Lebi, 51, by Sarawak agriculture assistant minister Mong Dagang for supporting the opposition.
The unending revelations of the horrors of the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre “cow condo” scandal reaching far beyond the shores of Malaysia, with the latest allegations of purchase of properties not only in Singapore but also in Kazakhstan involving public funds specifically meant to promote greater beef self-sufficiency in the country. Read the rest of this entry »
Has Najib issued a “blank cheque” apology, signifying nothing as to enable all the past BN mistakes of abuses of power, corruption and lack of accountability to be repeated in even worse magnitude?
Yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak extended an apology to the people on behalf of the Barisan Nasional for the coalition’s mistakes in the last general election, which cost it several electoral seats and states including Kedah.
“I apologise for our mistakes prior to the 2008 general election. If we made mistakes in the past and the voters rejected us, we accept it.
“On behalf of BN, I apologise. We have learnt from our mistakes, and we aim and promise the people that we will make amends and bring them to greater heights.”
I was immediately asked on the twitter: “accept or not” and my reply was: “Yes, should accept if Najib’s apology for BN’s past mistakes genuine. Is it genuine or just election gimmicry?”
I scoured the news reports to be able to say that Najib’s apology should be accepted in good faith as he has identified and owned up to the BN’s past mistakes for which he and the present BN would make amends, but unfortunately, there is nothing whatsoever to come to such a conclusion.
In fact, one should ask whether Najib has issued a “blank cheque” apology, signifying nothing as to enable all the past BN mistakes of abuses of power, corruption and lack of accountability to be repeated in even worse magnitude? Read the rest of this entry »
— Lucius Goon
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 21, 2012
FEB 21 — The thing that troubled me most about the latest expose in Malaysia is the seemingly cozy relationship between the current Umno lawyer and the former chief justice, who incidentally is a former Umno lawyer.
I am beyond griping that the contract was not awarded through an open tender because open tender means competition and competition means level playing field — all the things that our friends like Ibrahim Ali, Mahathir Mohamad don’t like.
But it does disturb me that there appears to be a business nexus between an Umno lawyer Hafirizam Harun and Tun Zaki Azmi. In most developed countries, judges and especially chief justices keep an arms length from lawyers because they don’t want to be accused of bias or bringing the judiciary into disrepute. The more strict judges do not even socialise with lawyers.
So I can’t imagine the head of the Supreme Court of the USA or India or even the Chief Justice of Singapore getting a government contract or being involved in a business with a lawyer, especially one who acts for the government. Read the rest of this entry »
By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 21, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 — Perak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders cried foul today over the award of a lucrative RM2.2 billion highway contract to companies linked to former Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi and Umno lawyer Datuk Hafarizam Harun, two key figures in the Perak constitutional crisis of 2009.
They demanded both men and the Najib administration explain the award and yesterday’s allegation by controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin that the deal was Barisan Nasional’s (BN) gift for their help in toppling PR in the northern state.
“(Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Najib Razak and the Works Ministry must come out to refute this allegation with proof that they carried out an open tender process and the award was based on the firms’ proper qualifications, track record and expertise in the field.
“As an MP and the former mentri besar of Perak, I demand an explanation from the authorities… failing which, this allegation would hold true,” PAS’s Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin told The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »
— Art Harun
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 21, 2012
FEB 21 — In any Westminster-styled democracy, a country’s administration consists of three main machinations, namely, the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary. The Legislative makes laws. The Executive runs the country. Lastly, but by no means the least, the Judiciary adjudicates disputes and determines them.
The Judiciary does not only adjudicate disputes amongst private citizens but also, more importantly, disputes between the citizens and the Executive (the government). In a branch of law called “administrative law”, the Judiciary inherently has the power to issue four kinds of orders against the Executive. These are traditional judicial powers which are paramount towards ensuring that rules of law are complied with not only by the people but also by the Executive.
Firstly, the Court may issue a certiorari order to quash any decision of the Executive. Secondly, an order of prohibition may be issued to restrain the Executive from doing any act. These two orders are usually issued if the act complained of is illegal, improper or made without power (ultra vires). Thirdly, the Court may issue an order of mandamus to compel the Executive to do certain act.
Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, a writ of habeas corpus, may be issued by the Court to compel the government to produce and free anybody who is improperly detained.
These are the traditional powers of the Judiciary. They exist for hundreds of years and have throughout the years been refined in order to keep up with the demands of modern governance. Read the rest of this entry »