Archive for category NH Chan

Best way to honour former Court of Appeal judge N.H. Chan is to fully restore the rule of law and a truly independent judiciary

This morning, accompanied by the DAP Perak Chairman Nga Kor Ming (MP for Taiping/Assemblyman for Kepayang) and DAP Perak Secretary, Wong Kah Woh (Perak State Assemblyman for Canning), I paid my last respects to a towering Malaysian and a great judge, former Court of Appeal judge, Datuk N.H. Chan.

Yesterday, I had made reference to Chan’s death when I said in my media statement:

“Yesterday, the country lost a great judge with the passing of former Court of Appeal judge, Datuk N. H. Chan, 81, in Ipoh. He will be remembered for his courageous judgement in the Ayer Molek case, with the Shakespearean quote that “Something is rotten in the State of Denmark” as the judiciary was housed in a building called ‘Wisma Denmark’.

“It was an era of ‘judge shopping’ as alleged in the infamous Ayer Molek case. Lawyers, especially those involved in commercial cases, were found to have filed their cases in a manner which allowed them to manipulate their way to appear before their preferred judges.”

“N.H. Chan was a towering Malaysian.”

I suggested that as an appreciation of his contributions to nation-building, the Cabinet should decide on the retrospective bestowal by the Yang di Pertuan Agong of the honour of “Tan Sri” on former Justice N.H. Chan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Answering Jeffrey

By N H Chan

In the recent article by Martin Jalleh dated 14 Sept 2011 entitled Chief Jester’s Circus and Charade Comes to a Close (Part 2) which appeared in your blog, I find this comment from Jeffrey:

The Ex judges that talked independent, don’t forget that they do so only after they left office, with nothing to lose!

Normally I do not answer comments from commentators. But in this case I think Mr Jeffrey should know that he is mistaken because apparently he does not know about me when I was a serving judge. For sure he has not read my book How to Judge the Judges. I would suggest that he reads Ayer Molek v Insas [1995] 2 MLJ 735. Read the rest of this entry »


Cart and horse

NH Chan

Jul 31, 2011 JULY 31 — The MACC knew at the outset that without a confession from Teoh Beng Hock they would be unable to prove any wrongdoing against the state government of Selangor.

However, the RCI concluded that the MACC tried to extract a confession from Teoh Beng Hock but the ruse backfired when instead the RCI pointed its finger at the perpetrators at the MACC with a finding that it was the MACC’s own personnel who had driven Teoh Beng Hock to suicide.

Don’t you think this looks like a scenario for a whodunnit or a Hollywood movie?

One wonders how silly can the three judges get, when they should have known better? There were three superior court judges in the panel of the Royal Commission of Inquiry – in fact the RCI was headed by a Federal Court judge! All that the judges have to do – when they have to deal with expert witnesses – is to refer to section 45 of the Evidence Act 1950. It is as simple as that. Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih rally sounds death knell of tyranny

It seems to me the recent Bersih rally could have sounded the death knell of tyranny and overnight Ambiga has become the people’s iconic hero for electoral reform

By N H Chan

The picture on the front page of the Sunday Star, 10 July 2011 spoke louder than words. It showed the huge crowd of peaceful but bold Bersih supporters flying in the face of the cowardly might of the police who were decked out in full riot paraphernalia. They must be daunted by the sea of placid, mostly young, people facing them.

Those in the front rows were seated on the road and those at the back were standing. All were unarmed and none were menacing the police. They were all peaceful demonstrators who were trying to put across to the imbeciles in power the people’s right to peaceful assembly and to show that they were united in their call for a clean and incorrupt general election. Read the rest of this entry »


What I have said about Christians and Muslims worshipping the same God/Allah is confirmed by the Quran!

By N H Chan

Introduction: why I decided to write on why the Deity Allah is not owned by Muslims only

I wrote the series of articles on Allah to put forward the Christians’ point of view on why they are entitled to use the word Allah in their Malay language Bibles. I felt it was unfair for the people in power to use governmental clout to prevent Christians from calling their God Allah. And when these myopic politicians started to desecrate the Christians’ Holy Book that became the catalyst which really drove me to write so as to inform the public that it is not anyone’s right to claim ownership of an Arabic word which was in use by the Jews and the Arabs since the time of Abraham and his descendants, or even much earlier i.e. from the time of the descendants of Shem the eldest of the three sons of Noah who were regarded as the ethnic group of peoples known as the Semites or Shemites who spoke a Semitic language. And Arabic and Hebrew are two Semitic languages. The Arabic word Allah meaning “The God” had been used by God’s people for thousands of years before Jesus was born and before Mohammad’s Call, the legendary revelation of Allah in 611 AD.

But then there are certain people who think that to mention that Christians worship the same God as Muslims do is sacrilege

It looks like there are some Malay Muslims, and some other people of unknown faiths, who maintain that it is heresy to say in my articles that Christians worship the same God as Muslims do. They say Muslims worship only one God and that is Allah but Christians worship three persons called the trinity.

But do these misinformed Muslims know what they are talking about when the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible? Can they tell us why they say that Christians worship three persons when this is not even mentioned in the Bible? Or are these people just paying lip service to keep up with the Joneses to upstage the Christians’ faith without knowing the reason why they are doing that? Read the rest of this entry »


If Allah is the name of God in Islam, can Christians also call their God Allah?

By N H Chan

The nomenclature of God

If you look up the word “Allah” in any English dictionary you will find this definition: Allah noun the name of God among Muslims; or Allah n. the principle Muslim name for God. In fact all English dictionaries are definite about the meaning of the word Allah; it is the name of God in Islam. Surprisingly the dictionary does not say that it is an Arabic word. Actually it is not strange at all. As I have already explained before, this Arabic word has become an English word since the sixteenth century when it was spelt using the English alphabet to represent the speech sounds of the Arabic word. It is only an Arabic word if it is written in the original Arabic text as distinct from the phonetic spelling in English.

If Allah is the Islamic God then, since Christians are not Muslims, could or should Christians call their God Allah?

The answer will depend on whether, as a fact, Allah in Arabic was first coined by the founder of Islam or that this Arabic word Allah had predated Islam and had been in existence as a name for “The God” – “The” meaning “the only one of its kind”, as in “the only God” – long before Prophet Mohammed’s Call, the legendary revelation of Allah in 611 AD. As a matter of fact, even before there was Jesus Christ, “Allah” meaning “the only God” was already a word in Arabic a Semitic language spoken by the ancient Arabs who belonged to the ethnic group of peoples known as the Semites.

Historically, therefore, the Arabic word Allah was not coined by Islam’s founder at all. According to the Bible, God made Abraham, his two sons Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants His people. Since then monotheism – a religious belief that there is only one God – was founded. The descendants of Abraham from the line of Ishmael (the Arabs) and Isaac (the Jews) worshipped the only God named Allah in Arabic and Eloah in Hebrew. In Arabic, Allah was derived from Al – Ilah meaning Al (The) + Ilah (God). In Hebrew God was Eloah with a capital E. Read the rest of this entry »


Why do Christians use the word Allah in their Malay language Bible and not tuhan?

By N H Chan

It is because Christians, Jews and Muslims worship the same God as the God of Abraham

Before we all get confused, it is necessary to point out at the outset that the word which is spelt ‘Allah’ is an English word because it is written in English. The word which bears the same spelling in the National Language is a copy of that word which was first spelt in English in the sixteenth century. The English word Allah is the phonetic spelling of the Arabic word for God.

We all know that the Malay word for god is tuhan. We also know that the God of the Muslims is Allah which is actually what this word sounds like in Arabic. Since most of us do not read or write Arabic, we tend to take the phonetic spelling of the Arabic word for God as used in English dictionaries. However, from the point of view of Christians, Christians worship the same God as Muslims do. The God of Christians and the God of Muslims is the same God as the God of Abraham. So that if you are a Christian, the choice of using the word Allah in their Malay language Bible is obvious since Christians also worship Allah which is the Malay language equivalent – since Malay uses the same English phonetic spelling – of the God of Muslims. In this country to be Malay is to be a Muslim.
Read the rest of this entry »


The bigotry of forbidding the use of an English word in the name of Islam

By N H Chan

In the Malaysian Insider, Tuesday, 29 March 2011, I find this article;

Mufti says Islamic law bars release of Alkitab
By Syed Mu’raz Syed Putra

Selangor Mufti Datuk Tamyes Abd Wahid said the crux of the controversy is over the use of the word “Allah” in the bible, which is forbidden to religions other than Islam, as written in 1988 state enactment on religious propagation.

I am still of the view that they [the distribution of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles] should be blocked, as this translation that contains the translation of the word “God” to “Allah” is dangerous and confusing, especially to the young,” the senior Islamic cleric told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

He explained that young Muslims who had shallow knowledge of religion and faith would be confused by the use of the word “Allah” by Christians, which to them meant “Allah has a son … that Allah has a wife … God is a father”. Read the rest of this entry »


Bible desecration shows puerile insensitivity

by NH Chan
The Malaysian Insider
March 27, 2011

MARCH 27 — In the Sun on Monday, March 21, 2011 I read with dismay about how insensitive the Barisan Nasional government is of the religion of other people. It reads:

Stamping desecrates Bible, say Christian federation

By Karen Arukesamy

PETALING JAYA: As far as the Christian community is concerned, they will not accept the 35,100 Bahasa Malaysia Bibles after the government imposed new conditions for their release from Port Klang and Kuching port.

Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) chairman Bishop Ng Moon Hing said in a statement that the new requirement that the Malay language Bibles are stamped means they have been desecrated [meaning ‘to treat something sacred with violent disrespect’].

He said Christians could not accept the released Bibles which have now been stamped with a serial number, official seal and the words ‘… for the use of Christians only, by order of the Home Ministry’.

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander is a well known proverb. So how would the minister feel if someone were to desecrate the Quran? The desecration of the Bible clearly shows that our government does not respect the religions of others in multi-racial Malaysia.

Are the rest of us — who are not born a Muslim because we are not Malays — second class citizens? It certainly looks that way to us who are the rest of the people of this nation. Read the rest of this entry »


Answering the people’s call is the way to winning the next GE

By N H Chan

The call of the people is accountability which is the ultimate checks and balances of democracy

There is an excellent article by an astute young lady in the Sun, March 3, 2011:

Checks and balances imperative
By Yap Mun Ching

When former transport minister Chan Kong Choy was charged with … cheating amounting to RM1.9 billion … it was as though the winds of accountability sweeping across the Middle East had finally gusted over. …the former minister looks set to join his predecessor Dr Ling Liong Sik on a list of former cabinet ministers accused of less than hounourable activities while in office.

Viewing these developments against the backdrop of the events in the Middle East, several important lessons stand out. Firstly, it is never healthy to have leaders hold on to power for too long a period without proper checks and balances. It is not by coincidence that the heads of government facing the strongest opposition in the Middle East now are those who have hung on for decades by crushing all opposition. Tunisia’s deposed Ben Ali ruled for 23 years while Egypt’s Mubarak sat at the helm … for 29 years. Embattled Libyan leader Gaddafi is one of the world’s longest-serving leaders at 42 years, while … Yemen and Bahrain, the incumbents have been in power for 30 and 40 years respectively.
Read the rest of this entry »


People’s Call for Regime Change – Part 2

By NH Chan
18 February, 2011

(The People’s Judge continues his call to the young to use the tools of modern communication to effect change in Malaysia, pointing out how we are stuck with a government using 19th century British colonial laws to further repress us. Read Part 1 of this article here.-

The Sedition Act as applied in this country

The sedition legislation is the most oppressive law ever devised by a colonial power to subjugate the natives by the colonialists who took over the land they had colonized. In this country the Sedition Act 1948 is typical of such colonialism – this word means ‘the practice of acquiring and controlling another country and occupying it’. If you read on you will know that this is the true picture of how our Sedition Act 1948 migrated from 1870 British India to Peninsular Malaya in 1948 when the country was a British protectorate except for Malacca and Penang which were colonies.

There is an excellent article in the Star, Wednesday, 9 February 2011, titled Sedition law’s overreach by Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi. It says: Read the rest of this entry »


People’s Call for Regime Change – Part 1

By NH Chan
17 February, 2011

(The People’s Judge reflects on the turmoil in the Middle East – a people’s revolution inspired by the power of the new media on the internet such as Facebook and Twitter – and the lessons for us in Malaysia. He ends with a personal note of his own political awakening, and a call to action for all of us who care for this country.-

The uprising in Egypt, the uprising in Tunisia,the uprising in Yemen and even in Jordan there are rumblings in the kingdom. The message is clear. The people do not want their dictators.

And what is the difference between kings, dictators and oligarchs? They are all totalitarian regimes – this means a system of government consisting of only one leader or party and having complete power and control over the people.

But the people do not want that kind of government; they want democracy – this word means a form of government in which the people have a say in who should hold power; they do not want despotism. And this wish of the people could only mean that they want a government of the people, by the people and for the people which is what a true democracy actually is.

In other words, they do not want repressive rule in any shape or form. They want human rights. They do not want draconian and oppressive laws.

In short, they do not want to live under a perennial state of emergency because all emergency laws are only excuses for tyranny. They also want freedom of speech and a free press. Read the rest of this entry »


The LoyarBurok Book Review: “Perak – A State Of Crisis” – An Unabashed Self-Indictment By The BN Government Of Its Undemocratic Takeover Of Perak

By NH Chan
27 December, 2010

[LoyarBaca’s first publication Perak: A State of Crisis (PASOC) has been a runaway hit and will soon be in Malaysia’s major bookstores through leading indie, activist distributor, Pak Chong’s GerakBudaya. We have sold out copies at hand for the moment (2nd impressions are on the way), but you may purchase them directly from GerakBudaya here. Here, after a brief hiatus, NH Chan re-appears to pen his thoughts on PASOC. ]

On the cover of Perak: A State Of Crisis, 2010 – the book is described as “Rants, reviews and reflections on the overthrow of democracy and the rule of law in Malaysia”.

On the back cover is this apt but accurate assessment by Marina Mahathir: “The people of Perak voted in March 2008 for a new government, then woke up one day to find that they had an entirely different one in place. A must read.”

Why is this book a must read? It is so because the book is a chronicle and commentary of the events that led to the unceremonious overthrow of the PR Government in Perak. The direct involvement of the BN protagonists who engineered the treacherous takeover – whose actions in that sordid episode spoke louder than words – has demonstrated unequivocally to the people of this country and to the world that they are the unquestionable “bad guys”.

With such unyielding and nefarious mindset in the BN camp, it looks like the choice for the voters in the next elections is between “good and bad”, “right and wrong”, “democracy and oligarchy” etc. The choice is obvious for no one wants to be governed by a group of self-serving people for this is the meaning of “oligarchy”; such an attitude in the psyche of the BN mindset would inevitably lead to “resource-draining corruption and rampant inequity” – to borrow a phrase from Audrey Quay in her “Editor’s Preface & Introduction” (page v) – as the Perak debacle has brought to light. Read the rest of this entry »


Why should MCA interfere with Utar?

by NH Chan
Centre for Policy Initiatives
06 October 2010

Human nature is such that there are two kinds of human behaviour when it comes to charity – the pretentious and the altruistic donor. I have always doubted the sincerity of those who give to charity by proclaiming it under the flashbulbs of press photographers. In these amusing photo ops, you see the donors posing with an enormous mock cheque to emphasize the size of the donation. If you’re truly charitable, why not dispense with the fanfare and write the amount on a normal cheque?

Having said this, I can now tell you about the truly altruistic gesture of philanthropist Koon Yew Yin. He made an offer of RM30 million, quite gratuitously, for the building of hostels for University Tunku Abdul Raman (Utar) students in Kampar.

Ever since the university was founded, its students have had to find their own accommodation outside campus. In many cases, they have to pay exorbitant rents far beyond the means of poor or even middle- class students.

The generosity of Koon was brought to my attention by the unflattering headline ‘Tycoon wanted seat on council’ in theSun (Sept 3, 2010). The article’s sub-headline was ‘Koon also wanted Utar residential village named after him, says MCA division chief’.

The MCA division chief in question, Ipoh Timur’s Thong Fah Chong, had said Koon’s requests were not acceptable as they had “exceeded the university’s jurisdiction and [could be] deemed an interference in the management of the university”. Thong added that hostels could not be named at one’s whim and fancy.

In his immediate response, Koon countered that although it was correct that while the facility was to be named after him, what he had specified was that the hostel blocks should be named after the fundamental rights such as Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Freedom, or the qualities of integrity such as honesty, justice, etc.

Koon also categorically denied he had ever requested a seat on the Utar council, clarifying instead that he had agreed to Utar’s counter-proposal for a task force to oversee the construction of the hostels.

He said his requests, including for a seven-man task force (four from Utar and three to be nominated by him) to oversee the construction of the hostels, and for all construction contracts exceeding RM10,000 to be open to competitive tenders, were to ensure everything was done in the interest of the students. He said it was not meant to interfere with the management of the university. Read the rest of this entry »


Matthias Chang: Martyr without a cause?

By NH Chan

APRIL 11 — In the Sun newspaper of Friday, 2 April 2010 I came across this story:

Dr M’s ex-aide starts jail term for contempt

KUALA LUMPUR: Matthias Chang, former political secretary of ex-premier Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, was sent to prison after he refused to pay a RM20,000 fine for contempt of court.

Chang was served the committal order by the High Court before he was taken to Kajang prison.

The lawyer was cited for contempt of court on March 25 when he failed to apologise to the court during cross-examination in his defamation suit against American Express (Malaysia).

The committal order stated: “At about 2.30pm to day (March 25) … when the court refused your request to address the court as a witness, you lost your cool and walked out of the witness box and thereafter left the court during the proceedings. Your conduct is a contempt in the face of the court by virtue of Order 52 (1A) of the Rules of the High Court.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Was Anwar’s sacking 11 years ago lawful?

By NH Chan

MARCH 12 — On Tuesday March 9, 2010 the Sun reports:

Federal Court: Anwar’s sacking from cabinet lawful

Putrajaya: The sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as deputy prime minister and finance minister 11 years ago was lawful, the Federal Court ruled yesterday.

Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Federal Court judges Datuk Wira Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusof and Datul Abdull Hamid Embong unanimously dismissed Anwar’s final appeal for a declaration that his dismissal from his cabinet posts in September 2, 1998 was unconstitutional.

Alauddin held that the then prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had the authority under the Federal Constitution to sack his cabinet minister.

He said, the King, as a constitutional monarch, was required to act in accordance with the advice of the prime minister.
Read the rest of this entry »


Judges Can Fly – in the face of Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules! (Part 1)

By NH Chan

A thorough and critical consideration of the Federal Court’s inconsistent and dishonest approach to Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 in 2 parts. This part considers the recent Federal Court decision dismissing Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s application to review a previous Federal Court decision dismissing his application for disclosure of documents for his second sodomy trial.

Devastating and shocking news.

The headline of the online news portal Malaysiakini declared:

Anwar fails to get Federal Court to review its decision

Feb 25, 2010
Read the rest of this entry »


Judges Can Fly – in the face of Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules! (Part 2)

By NH Chan

A thorough and critical consideration of the Federal Court’s inconsistent and dishonest approach to Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 as it relates to section 51 and 51A of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Federal Court decisions in Adorna Properties v Kobchai Sosothikul [2006] 1 MLJ 417 and Asean Security Paper Mills Sdn Bhd v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd [2008] 5 AMR 377. This is the concluding part.

The two misguided decisions are Adorna Properties v Kobchai Sosothikul [2006] 1 MLJ 417 and Asean Security Paper Mills Sdn Bhd v Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd [2008] 5 AMR 377. Practicing lawyers will tell you that not too long ago the Federal Court have been exercising their inherent powers to right a wrong which is to prevent injustice as envisaged in Rule 137.

In the case of Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Kobchai Sosothikul [2006] 1 MLJ 417 (PS Gill and Rahmah Hussein FCJJ and Richard Malanjum JCA, as he was then) Mr. Kobchai Sosothikul – who was substituted for his late mother Mrs. Boonsom Boonyanit – applied under rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1955 to review the Federal Court’s decision in Adorna Properties v Boonsom Boonyanit. PS Gill FCJ (who delivered the judgment of the court) dismissed the application for review. He said:
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A commentary on Nazri’s offer of a way out

By N.H. Chan
Malaysian Insider
Jan 20 2010

This is what the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said (The Star, Saturday, Jan 16, 2010). Nazri, who was voicing his personal opinion over the “Allah” issue, noted that Sabahans and Sarawakians could still conduct Mass and give sermons in Bahasa Malaysia but should not use the word “Allah” while in the peninsula.

“It is all right to hold Mass in Bahasa Malaysia but do not use the word ‘Allah’. They must use Tuhan as in the national language,” he said in an interview.
Although he agreed that the word “Allah” had been long used in Christianity way before Islam existed, Nazri said: “That’s why I say it is all right in Sabah and Sarawak but culturally, you cannot apply it in a place where Allah has always been Islam’s God.”

But where is it said anywhere – certainly it is not in the Koran – that Christians cannot apply Allah in a place where Allah has always been Islam’s God. Read the rest of this entry »


How to spot the Usurper between Ganesan and Sivakumar?

By NH Chan

News item in MalaysiaKini – July 24, 2009

I found this news item in MalaysiaKini – an online news portal:

Speaker vs. Speaker: Police report over letterhead
Humayun Kabir Jul 24, 09

Barisan Nasional state assembly speaker R Ganesan lodged a police report with the Ipoh district police headquarters accusing his Parkatan Rakyat speaker V Sivakumar of illegally using the speaker’s official letterhead twice to communicate with him.

Ganesan said the ‘abuse of official letterheads’ happened twice – Sivakumar’s July 14 reply to his affidavit and summoning Ganesan to an inquiry on July 27.

Ganesan claimed that he was appointed as the legal speaker on May 7 to replace Sivakumar and thus the latter had used the letterheads ‘illegally’.
Read the rest of this entry »