Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Malaysian judicial crisis of credibility need to reboot the judiciary

Proper legal definitions could be the answer to the menace of police, reform won’t work without judicial reform

Image result for Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor

Why we Malaysians are such suckers for all sorts of conmen Is Malaysia going to pieces?

Fear being a problem of the mind, is unlikely to be allayed by physical solutions. So, it is better to identify the cause of fear and then overcome it by reasoning. Being a perfectionist, I wanted things to be in order. Whenever I found things were not in perfect order, I became distressed. This anxiety increased to such a great extent during my childhood that I wrote a poem that said, “Life seems to me to be a dreadful dream.” I have read and thought a lot about this subject.
According to the law of nature, man has to live with contradictions. The world is not perfect. Once I realised this, I developed a realistic approach to life. Becoming aware that ‘Maturity is the ability to live with things we cannot change,’ I was able to rationalise the issue and live tension-free. The solution is not external; it has to be managed in the mind.
If you can become aware that fear is imaginary and not real, your mind will be rid of fear. Fear is apparently a negative experience, but there is a positive aspect to it. Fear stimulates intellectual activity, which leads to creative thinking. In this sense, fear has an important role to play in our lives.
Fear keeps one’s mind alive. Without fear, one risks descending into a state of intellectual stagnation. We have, therefore, only one option before us, and that is, to control our minds so that we may regard fear as a positive rather than as a negative phenomenon.

 Beast of a man Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar,The Malaysian Insider  the portal reported that an article published in Malaysia Today last week, contained serious allegations against prominent personalitiese alleged by extension, on the ebullient , irrepressible, irreverent  the focus back on the autonomy,functioning and on the legal structure of the Police and other investigative agencies and even government’s prosecuting institutions. As is usual in such instances, the hapless investigating agency will be painted as the hand maiden of the ruling party, even when in reality that may not be the case, by those politicians who are the targets of its investigation., while we all know of big-ticket corruption  We have finally figured that politics is far too important to be left to thugs, scoundrels, scamps and scallywags.If all else fails, UMNO has one last option. said Mahathir  you’ve underestimated the power of our enforcement bodies like Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to milk any order to their advantage, nforcement agencies who have the confidence of the people and are not seen as purchasable commodity
Last year, Malaysia blocked a UK-based news blog, the Sarawak Report, and also two financial papers, the Edge Weekly and the Edge Financial Daily.Dozens of activists, dissidents and lawyers have been arrested under the country’s sedition law, an act implemented under the British empire. The opposition complains that Najib has attacked media freedoms to protect himself from the 1MDB scandal.Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Monday that she was concerned “when there are instances of a crackdown on freedom of speech – in democracies particularly”.On Tuesday, the country’s Police said they would not be charged and would be deported.Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of the Asia Division for Human Rights Watch, said the arrests were a “kneejerk reaction … To arrest them demonstrates the incredible lengths that the authorities are prepared to go to protect Prime Minister Najib from any sort of hard questions about his actions.It’s shameful that the Malaysia government is apparently willing to shred the country’s already diminished reputation as a rights-respecting democracy to shield one man from serious allegations of malfeasance.“With the recent shutdown of The Malaysian Insider and these arrests, freedom of the press has become increasingly endangered in Najib’s Malaysia.”Both papers are owned by the Edge Media Group, which also owns the Malaysian Insider.

The Malaysian Bar's frank appraisal that Malaysian’s judiciary is facing a crisis of credibility and  to fix what   termed “challenges from within“ offer a sobering warning about the legal system..The Bar has rightly called on  to be conscientious in their duties, expressed concern over the mounting pendency 
 Police brutality and the expected denials and promises of investigations by the authorities do nothing to dispel the level of distrust or cynicism of the average Malaysian against the state security apparatus.

Like an open festering wound that is left unattended, life goes on with corruption scandals and strange political alliances that currently defines our political landscape., one can only smile grimly at the platitude Editor says he ‘won’t be blinkered or turn a deaf ear’ after authorities blocked Malysian Insider for articles critical of Prime Minister Najib Razak. that a democracy chose to be a democracy in the truest sense. That of allowing dissent within its institutions, by extending a broad table to all sorts of disgruntled and politically discontented stake holders and starting a discourse. that a democracy chose to be a democracy in the truest sense. That of allowing dissent within its institutions, by extending a broad table to all sorts of disgruntled and politically discontented stake holders and starting a discourse.
All one has to do is refer to the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police published in 2005 to address “widespread concerns regarding the high incidence of crime, perception of corruption in the Royal Malaysia Police (Polis Diraja Malaysia, PDRM), and what did this commission discover?
The voiceless and the helpless is the worst the fact that if political goons can get away even with actual murders of people in our country, laming a dead  horse like Najib is hardly likely to take too much time of the legal and justice system in the country.One would have thought how evolved a culture is, is best captured by how it treats its weak and the voiceless. Do we as a people measure up?
The judiciary’s structural gaps need urgent fixing but safeguarding its guardianship role in promoting dialogue and protecting dissent is equally important. Perceptively distinguishing between ’rules and `justice  both dialogue and dissent are “essential for democracy to survive and function“. Many of our laws, like Section 124 (A) on sedition are vestiges from the colonial era. Judges would do well to follow his advice that they should not remain stuck only on precedent, since times have changed even if the laws haven’t. Justice “necessarily involves interpretation“ of old laws “in accordance with contemporary needs and challenges“.The Malaysian Bar is to debate at its annual general meeting on Saturday a motion that calls on Mohamed Apandi to quit as the AG.The motion also calls for the solicitor-general to assume the role of public prosecutor in the cases where the Bar feels the AG is unsuited to continue to act as the public prosecutor.Mohd Hafarizam Harun said the Malaysian Bar's intention to seek the resignation of Mohamed Apandi Ali as the attorney-general is tantamout to challenging the royal prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
the attorney-general is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his removal would be at the pleasure of His Majesty when he decides that the AG is unfit or unable to perform his duties."Any discussion could be construed as challenging the royal prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," said Mohd Hafarizam when contacted to comment on the motion.

He said the motion to censure and seek the resignation of Mohamed Apandi was unprecedented and unnecessary since the AG had neither misbehaved as the public prosecutor nor committed any gross misconduct pertaining to his statutory duties.

"We should be reminded that as the attorney-general, his powers as provided for in Article 145 of the federal constitution are at his unfettered discretion and not subject to judicial scrutiny.

"This the bedrock of the criminal justice system wherein the separation of jurisdiction between judicial and prosecution is premised upon.

"Thus, I urge that there must be mutual respect between the Malaysian Bar, being a body created by the Legal Profession Act, and the office of the attorney-general," he said.

He said that only with this mutual respect and understanding could the administration of criminal justice be upheld at its utmost level.

A valid argument can be made about the Malaysian establishment’s instinctive use and misuse of colonial era laws like sedition, but not if it is partisan. For it is disingenuous to claim, as some have, that somehow it is only now that the government is clamping down on free speech. Have we forgotten so quickly the 2012 arrests of a cartoonist for sedition and college students for `offensive’ social media posts?
Since the protest rallies , the nation has been embroiled in an angry debate about freedom of expression.This is a debate worth having, indeed it is necessary , but it needs rescuing from the political agendas of both extremes of the right and the left.
First, however, it is important to understand the historical context of this debate. And to understand that free speech and sedition need to be considered in conjunction with blasphemy , the lack of reverence for God and religion.
The modern concept of free speech evolved over several centuries in Europe, when scientists and philosophers loosened the grip of the church on everyday life with their stunning discoveries and compelling arguments for reason and rationality . In the process, blasphemy , earlier the most heinous of crimes, came to be considered as merely distasteful, rather than criminal.
Of course, even today theocratic states like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan treat blasphemy as a crime punishable by death. But most democracies do not, and have either repealed blasphemy laws or no longer implement them, with varying degrees of freedom. For over two centuries, it is the US that has gradually developed the gold standard of these freedoms.
The US constitutional guarantee of free speech, backed by many court rulings, is near absolute, with two narrowly defined exceptions. Those exceptions impose restrictions on child pornography and the leaking of classified informa tion compromising national security .
However, even burning the national flag has been held by the US SupremeCourt to be permissible as an aspect of freedom of expression. And even when such inflammatory acts as burning holy books are threatened, the government can do little. Though there are laws against inciting violence, courts have ruled that there must be imminent, “clear and present“ danger for the authorities to intervene.
The US has also had several sedition laws since its inception, but many have been repealed over the centuries, or overruled by courts. Those that remain are tightly defined, differentiating opinion and speech from action. A typical example is a 1957 US judgment “that teaching an ideal, no matter how harmful it may seem, does not equal advocating or planning its implementation“.
Those distinctions between speech and action are crucial to our debate in Malaysia.sedition was only applicable if there was “an incitement to violence“ or “public disorder“,
The consensus among free nations today is increasingly in favour of either repealing sedition laws, or at least tightly limiting them to actions, not speech, aimed at overthrowing the state or physically facilitating rebellion or secession. India has faced such challenges within living memory , which is why it is understandable that the topic triggers raw emotions. Nevertheless, it is perfectly possible to be both revolted by some of the slogans, but still support free speech. That was Voltaire’s principle, exemplified in a  letter, “I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.“
The catch lies elsewhere, in that Malaysia’s free speech rights are nowhere near absolute. The Constitution itself mentions a broad array of restrictions, including security , foreign relations, public order and morality . And though courts have repeatedly supported free speech and stretched its limits, they have also reinforced boundaries.
Groups from both the left and the right have cited free speech to advance right have cited free speech to advance their agenda, while also clamouring for restrictions when it doesn’t suit them. On the left, for instance, some of the very people who castigated  for simply proposing a debate on ’s powers, and even moved a privilege motion against me, are now championing free speech apparently without irony .
 Both sides accuse sections of the mainstream media of bias, and being “embedded“ in the other side’s ecosystem.Both sides also seem to have a love-hate relationship with social media, seeing it as a leveller that enables their stories to be told, but also of it being misused by the other side’s supporters.
Across the spectrum many believe that some subjects are taboo, especially regarding religious sentiments. The free speech debate is complicated by the broad range of taboos, as also the hypocrisy in supporting free speech on others’ taboos but not one’s own.

But free speech is not really free if it is sanitised. A crucial difference is the distinction between speech and action.And support for it should be on principle, with narrowly defined exceptions, instead of tribalism. India needs a larger group in the middle to stand up for this.

No comments:

Post a Comment