So, what happened to separation of powers?

— 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?

She was also concerned that there could be “confusion and embarrassment” if the court’s decision was different from the ministers.

Once again, really?

Surely it is not the court’s concern whether in seeking justice and truth, embarrassment befalls anyone. The nature of an adversarial system is that in any matter, there is a winner and a loser. The court’s only objective is to ensure that justice is served and not to put up illusory argument of Parliament proceedings and some ministerial review taking precedence over judicial review.

It is frustrating when the small man cannot even get his foot into the courtroom to make substantive arguments against AELB’s decision to give Lynas a TOL. Maybe Rohana does not know that the select committee only comprises BN reps and it is the BN government which approved the Lynas project.

Also, Maximus Ongkili is in BN.

Is it even reasonable to expect that the anti-Lynas lobby will get a fair hearing from the select committee or Ongkili?

And now they have been deprived of taking their case to court. The threshold for a leave application is really low and it is a shame when courts deny Malaysians their right to judicial review in a matter of national interest.

Just as an aside, the Parliament Speaker routinely says sub judice to block any discussion of matters which may embarrass the government and now a judge is saying that it is not appropriate to hear a case because Parliament is discussing the matter.

What a wonderful tandem. My advice to Putrajaya is that beware of making people angry and frustrated.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 7:58 pm

    It would have been better if the judge had simply rejected the application and said that she’d put her reasons in writing “later”. Then she could take another 6 months to write her judgment, by which time the deal would have become irreversible, one way or another. By making comments from the bench, she is drawing her judicial brethren into disrepute.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 8:00 pm

    I think the judgment can be summarised in one sentence: I bow to the wishes of my paymaster.

  3. #3 by yhsiew on Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 8:12 pm

    ///there could be “confusion and embarrassment” if the court’s decision was different from the ministers.///

    The above statement implies that court deliberation is not necessary – just follow the decision made by the ministers.

  4. #4 by Bunch of Suckers on Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 8:24 pm

    There is no separation of powers in Bolehland! Everything is sucking together! For example, police forces suck the UMNO/BN, and vice versa! Judiciary bodies suck with Executive bodies, and vice versa!!!! Endless examples…

    In Bolehland, everything in/for the government is sucking, and they often suck together!!!!!!

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 10:16 pm

    This is the essence of Najib’s 1Malaysia where every institution and servant must kowtow to ‘1’.

    This judge will go very far.

  6. #6 by cseng on Thursday, 12 April 2012 - 11:26 pm

    Now, I understand why shoes flung and why 1 yr for flinging a shoe.

    I think the imam must be mistakenly taken the court as parliment

  7. #7 by B33Rhipp0 on Friday, 13 April 2012 - 8:19 am

    Omg I know dato Rohana and her judgement is a real surprise to me

  8. #8 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Friday, 13 April 2012 - 9:06 am

    Uh ah. I dont know no nothin’ bout power separation. But I do know jib has separated tongue lookin like this: “W”. Well maybe you can call it “forked tongue” – yeah like that of a snake!

  9. #9 by yhsiew on Friday, 13 April 2012 - 9:34 am

    ///there could be “confusion and embarrassment” if the court’s decision was different from the ministers.///

    If judges must toe the line of the ministers, what is the Malaysian court for?

  10. #10 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Friday, 13 April 2012 - 9:49 am

    Judicial interference and control ala umno punya style now is given formal recognition by none other than the judiciary.

    Judges must not deliver decisions that differ from that of ministers! And the grand logic for this stand is so that people are not confused.

    What confusion? The people knew exactly what the umno gobermen wanted – to let lynas run. And the ppl very clearly disagreed with that decision and wanted the court, as upholder of laws, to make a decision on the propriety of the plant. In essence, the ppl wanted umno’s decision overturned. How could the people ever be confused?

  11. #11 by waterfrontcoolie on Saturday, 14 April 2012 - 12:39 pm

    After this decision she will be on her way for the next promotion! She does not seem to know what is separation of Power. How on earth did she become a HIGH COURT JUDGE??

  12. #12 by rockdaboat on Monday, 16 April 2012 - 3:13 pm

    Judicial and legal professions in Malaysia are international laughing stocks!

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