Should homosexuality be a crime?  

Should homosexuality be a crime in Malaysia? Right now, homosexuality is a crime.  Have no doubt about that. But it may not remain so for long. Homosexuality is where two people of the same gender have sex.  But that isn’t what the Penal Code says. It criminalises it as an ‘unnatural offences’. Section 377A criminalises ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’. The Malaysian Penal Code is a replica of its Indian twin. The Indian ...

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Will Corruption Amnesty Work? [Part-2: Proposals]

This is Part 2 of the article entitled, ‘Will Corruption Amnesty Work?’ You’ll find part 1 here. We saw, in Part-1, how if we sack every corrupt person, we’d lose a substantial number of people in enforcement agencies, local governments, courts, and the Government. This is because corruption in Malaysia is deep-seated. So what? Corruption and State Capture Corruptions infects and emaciates a nation, its institutions and its people. It kills a just and efficient ...

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Will corruption amnesty work? [Part-1: Analysing the Problem]

Do you think corruption amnesty will work in Malaysia? Is it the right way to tackle endemic corruption? Analyse the problem. A question for your conscience Corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain – both pecuniary and otherwise. What if we gave every corrupt person a chance to come clean within 6 months? Only if they don’t admit their crime should we put them – and those who enjoyed the fruits of their ...

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Should judges condone inequitable behaviour of counsel?

How far should lawyers go to win a case? And how long should judges refuse to sanction counsel’s egregious conduct? Advocates and solicitors ( ‘lawyer’ and ‘counsel’ are used interchangeably) always must exhibit the highest level of professional conduct. They must always uphold the dignity of the profession and the interest of justice. Towards opposing counsel they must show candour, courtesy and fairness. No one should deceive a court, or his or ...

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Could we eliminate electoral fraud by improving election laws?

Could we eliminate electoral fraud by improving election laws? An election petition is a difficult thing. The law has ring-fenced it with several impenetrable technical rules.  Combating electoral corruption under the current, antiquated laws is impossible. After the results of the 13th General elections results were announced on 5 March 2013, I was asked, with a dozen others, to file election petitions for 22 constituencies in Perak. The petitions alleged that the winners ...

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On the horns of a dilemma – will the Federal Court judges recuse themselves?

An unusual thing happened at the Federal Court on August 6, 2018.  There is a history to this.  You know it well. It concerns a company called 1MDB and the ex-PM Najib Razak. On March 23, 2016, Mahathir sued the then PM Najib Razak for ‘misfeasance in public office’. The High Court struck out the suit. The judge ruled that a prime minister was not a ‘public officer.  The Court of ...

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Easing the delivery of Justice to the nation

How is the delivery of Justice to the nation to be eased? Everyone complains. Can someone say something helpful, for once? This missive is directed at those who are at the heart of the justice business, namely: - The Judiciary; The Attorney General’s Chambers, State Legal Advisers of all States, Judicial and Legal Services, and Private legal practitioners:- Malaysian Bar, the Sabah Law Society, Advocates Association of Sarawak The universities–both public and private; and  Parliament, which makes, and ...

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Why are we mollycoddling our public figures?

Why are we mollycoddling our public figures? There is a weapon far deadlier than a nuclear bomb. Words are the most powerful weapons in all the world.  So much so that a cautionary note penned in 1885 reads: - ‘Every word is endowed with a spirit … One word may be likened unto fire, another unto light, and the influence which both exert is manifest in the world.’ It has been said that a ...

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Who said the Prime Minister is not a public officer?

Who said the Prime Minister is not a public officer? Two separate panels of the Court of Appeal did. One panel heard Mahathir’s appeal.  It delivered its decision in April of this year. The second panel of the Court of Appeal heard Tony Pua’s appeal and delivered its decision last week. Both Mahathir and Tony Pua had sued the then Prime Minister Najib for the tort of public misfeasance. Both lost. When they ...

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