Archive for May 31st, 2007

After Lina Joy case – Malaysia, Quo Vadis!

The Federal Court 2-1 majority decision rejecting Lina Joy’s appeal marks a tectonic shift of Malaysia in moving further and further away from the Merdeka “Social Contract” founding principles of nation-building agreed by the forefathers of the major communities on the attainment of independent nationhood.

It casts a larger shadow over the national horizon with the country entering the second half-century of nationhood, with increasing doubts among Malaysians about the meaning, permanence, sustainability and viability of constitutional guarantees, civil liberties and fundamental rights.

This is because the Lina Joy case has shattered confidence in the constitutional guarantees on freedom of religion, the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and above all, the sacred Merdeka “Social Contract” underlying the Constitution that Malaysia is a secular nation with Islam as the official religion but not an Islamic state.

Malaysians alarmed at the abandonment of the “Social Contract” principles are fully justified in their concerns, especially when one compares as to what would have happened to a Lina Joy case in the first quarter-century of the nation’s history as compared to today when the nation stands on its 50th year of nationhood! Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia No. 9 ranking in perceived judicial corruption – so groundless/untrue that judiciary/govt. dare not claim credit

Since last Friday, I had been baffled and mystified by news reports that Malaysia is ranked ninth out of 62 countries in a global survey by Transparency International (TI) on perceived judicial corruption — which is so groundless and untrue that the judiciary and government are too embarrassed to come forward to claim credit.

At the launching of the TI Global Corruption Report 2007 on “Corruption in Judicial Systems” marked by a panel discussion participated by the Bar Council and the Malaysia Integrity Institute, Transparency International Malaysia President Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said he was “pleasantly surprised” with the TI survey on perceived judicial corruption for Malaysia.

If it is true that Malaysia is ranked as the ninth least corrupt nation in the world in perceived judicial corruption, then it is a fantastic feather in the cap on the occasion of Malaysia’s 50th Merdeka Anniversary celebrations and should be trumpeted all over the country and the world as Malaysians have the right to take pride at such an achievement.

But mystery of mysteries, there had been total silence from the judiciary and the government on the claim that Malaysia is ranked No. 9 among the world’s cleanest judiciary in the whole of the past week — when the government had never been shy in exploiting such good news to the hilt.

For instance, when Malaysia’s world competitiveness ranking improved by five places and was ranked 16th as compared to 21st position in 2003 in the Swiss-based International Institute of Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) 2004, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi immediately quoted it as authority in his keynote address at the Malaysia-China Business Dialogue in Beijing on 28th May 2004 during his first official visit to China as premier as testimonial why Malaysia was a good place to do business.

However, when Malaysia’s world competitiveness ranking plunged 12 places from 16th to 28th position in the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2005 in May 2005, it was met with a six-month stony silence by Ministers and government leaders as if the report never existed.
Why is the judiciary and government behaving so strangely as if they are more embarrassed than elated by the TI’s global survey reportedly placing Malaysia in the world’s top 10 countries on judicial integrity and honesty.

Could it be that the judiciary and government do not believe it themselves and are too shy to claim credit for what they know is patently groundless and untrue? Read the rest of this entry »