Archive for January 14th, 2011

Plea bargaining and the hidden dangers

By K.Siladass
of Lincoln’s Barrister-at-Law of Malaya, Advocate and Solicitor.

On Monday 13 December 2010, the Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Zaki Azmi announced that, “accused persons in criminal cases will get 50 per cent reduction from the maximum punishment under the plea bargain system which will be implemented soon”. There was no explanation under which statutory provision this plea bargaining, and the reduction of punishment prescribed by various laws will apply or the types of cases to which the new system may be applicable. However, one thing that was so apparent was the emphasis that this reduction of punishment would help to clear backlog of cases. That gave the impression clearing of backlog of cases was far more important than seeing justice being done. It is in the light of what had been disclosed for the consumption of the pubic that prompted the public to question whether the negative consequences that could arise from such implementation had been considered.

As on 14 December 2010 the public were not informed that the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Code 2010 (Act A1378) had been passed by Parliament and Royal assent had been obtained on 2 June 2010. The Act A1378 was gazetted on 10 June 2010. And plea bargaining had been given statutory effect; but, has not been implement as yet.
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Let’s stop talking politics and get real!

By P Ramakrishnan
President of Aliran

Let’s set aside political rhetoric and rigmarole and become sensible and serious. We cannot – and should not – play politics at the expense of our national well-being to score meaningless political points. What should be uppermost are the nation and its people.

The Pakatan Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Ibrahim Anwar, has come out with his 100-day plan to transform Malaysia’s economy for the greater benefit of Malaysians. His transformation plan for the country, according to him, will cost the national budget RM19 billion.

Our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, has pooh-poohed this plan. His caustic dismissal of Anwar’s plan won him a round of applause from the party faithful. They laughed and felt good that Anwar was being bashed.
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