Archive for September 10th, 2011

Penang’s economy buzzing again

By Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief
Sep 10, 2011 in

GEORGETOWN (Penang): On a small table in the office of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng sit half a dozen gold-coloured cats.

They were gifts, and a reminder of his much-cherished Cat principles – Competency, Accountability and Transparency.

Mr Lim, now in his fourth year leading one of Malaysia’s wealthiest states, is convinced that those principles have guided the recent revival of Penang’s fortunes.

He has much to shout about. Under the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government, Penang received the lion’s share of foreign investments in Malaysia last year, for the first time in the country’s history. It also had the third-highest number of tourists, and raked in two-thirds of the country’s earnings in medical tourism. Read the rest of this entry »


Constitutional question: Judges let natives down

by Hafiz Yatim
Sep 9, 11

A law professor said Chief Justice Zaki Azmi and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, could have abdicated their oath of office by their refusal to interpret the question of law posed to them.

The question posed before the court was “whether section 5(3) and (4) of the Sarawak Land Code relating to the extinguishment of native customary rights are ultra vires Article 5 (Right to life) and Article 13 (right to property) of the Federal Constitution.”

Islamic International University professor Abdul Aziz Bari said by refusing to deal with the constitutionality issue, the Federal court has abdicated its duty.

“Under the Federal Constitution, the Federal Court which is the highest court of the land is essentially the constitutional court of the country; the main tribunal whose major duty is to take care of the constitution,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Anything But Umno

— Ali Kadir
The Malaysian Insider
Sep 10, 2011

SEPT 10 — Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), the blogger, is right. We don’t know if Pakatan Rakyat will be able to govern our beloved country responsibly or walk the talk.

But we do know that they will not be worse than the plundering and blundering hordes of Umno. I say Umno and not BN because in reality the BN component parties such as the MCA, MIC, etc are subsidiaries of Umno. They may have a different flag, motto and even president but their mission statement is to be subservient to Umno.

The elections are around the corner. How do we know that? Simple, the clamour for allocations and funds is getting louder in Umno. Soon, we will be asked to make a choice and by my reckoning the choice is clear: Anything But Umno.

Just let us examine what these Umno types have done to our country. I have no doubt that the likes of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Dr Ismail, Hussein Onn, Tan Siew Sin were men of integrity and served the rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »


Judicial independence and justice

Lim Sue Goan
The Malaysian Insider
September 09, 2011

SEPT 9 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s recent visit to the Palace of Justice has triggered a dispute as some claimed that the visit could jeopardise the independence of the judiciary. However, I am more interested in the remarks made by retiring Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi.

He said that the government had allocated RM130 million to upgrade court facilities and it was normal for the prime minister to see how the money was spent. Also, the more people the more transparent it was and there was nothing to be kept in the dark. It would not affect judges’ independent judgment.

The judiciary needs money to operate and the bill is paid by the government. Then how could we be sure that the judiciary would not lose its independence for government funding?

Judiciary independence is a universal value. According to the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary adopted by the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders held in Milan from August 26 to September 6, 1985, “it is the duty of each Member State to provide adequate resources to enable the judiciary to properly perform its functions”.

Most countries and regions such as the US, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan separated the expenses of the judiciary and included it in the central budget. Many countries also have a court expense budget which is planned by a court expense budget committee formed by courts or judges. There are also judges who participate in a court expense budget team and the Finance Ministry has no right to delete or seize a court expense budget and funding. Read the rest of this entry »