I was there to hear this … 🙂
Most importantly, all Malaysians must feel that they have adequate access to justice.
In that regard, we in the MCCBCHST wholeheartedly support the initiatives of Yang Amat Berhormat, as announced by the Minister of Law Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, to restore the judicial power of the Federation in the Courts by restoring Article 121 (1) of the Federal Constitution to its pre-1988 position.
I hope that the Government will pursue that proposal so that our democratic institutions are restored.
From the standpoint of religious cases in the courts we also support the urgent need for a Judicial Appointments Commission. Public confidence in the Judiciary is very low, and this is not healthy for democracy to flourish.
Religious development can only properly take place when all our institutions are properly restored.
Our Judges must show to the rakyat that they are above personal prejudices, and that when a person appears before a Judge he can expect that Judge to disregard his personal religious feelings and convictions and apply and uphold the law and the Constitution without fear or favour.
The petition continues …
I had lunch with an UMNO man today.
“Do you think the people power momentum can hold?”, he asked me.
This was my reply.
“In September through to October last year, it took over one month to garner just over 5,000 signatures for a petition to the Agong. I launched another one on Monday at about noon, also relating to the judiciary. We are almost at 4,000 in just over four days. No, the momentum is not holding. it is growing”.
Like it or not, right now what is dominating the minds of many would be issues surrounding politics and the rule of law in Malaysia.
Serious doubts and questions were asked by the Bar Council and the public, mainly through the alternative media, on the veracity of the charges made in the police report. Yet, the questions posed were replied by affording denials, almost evasive if one were to recall the media statements made by Hospital Pusrawi on the medical report of Saiful Bukhari.
The call by the Prime Minister himself for Anwar to "deliver" his DNA to the authorities is another incident which smacks of legal and scientific ignorance. The public demanded answers and obtained denials. They may have been "answers" but in fact, they created further questions and undoubtedly fuelled further speculation. More damaging, the "rule of law" as practised in Malaysia, now hangs precariously for the whole world to see.
The controversial trials of Norita Samsudin and Datuk Norjan Khan and, lately, of Altantuya Shariibuu certainly beg the question of whether the rule of law is in place. In the eyes of the public, the institutions of justice have not "delivered" up to expectations. The lack of public confidence automatically means the lack of "legitimacy". In short, the rule of law cannot exist in the true sense when it is administered by a questionable system.
The philosophy of punishment is deterrence. Yet, there would be none should the delivery mechanism be tainted with abuse and doubted by the people it serves.
Rule of law demands categorical commitment to democracy and basic protection of human rights. Anything less means that we are not entitled to invoke it as a tool to justify action. The rights of not one but all citizens are at risk without a vigorous application of a truly democratic rule of law.
More and more analysis will be forthcoming day after day.
A Cabinet minister wondered: "We don’t really need this at this time. Why didn’t Pak Lah just indicate to the authorities that he did not want this case to proceed.”
Abdullah’s supporters said that the PM has tried to keep an arm’s length from the police investigation into the case, not wanting to intervene when government officials and Cabinet colleagues complained about the slow pace of the police probe and the seeming disregard by the police for the need to win the public relations battle.
When the Attorney-General’s Chambers decided to charge Anwar today, several government officials sighed. They wondered why the authorities summoned him to court a day after the Election Commission had set Aug 26 for the Permatang Pauh by-election. They argued that this would only reinforce the perception that the timetable of the case was being dictated by political considerations.
Would it not be better if the court date was pushed back? they asked. Abdullah listened and appears to have done little else.
A senior Umno official told The Malaysian Insider: "The PM believes that based on the evidence provided, this is the right thing to do. This is not about political points.”
Looks like the phrase Sodomy II is going to stick!
A friend mentioned that the Lembah Pantai is like a celebrity where people like to take photos with her. I think she’s got great potential and with the right team of advisers as well as workers, she can go far. Of course, the road ahead is more than bumpy!