Are We One Nation or Three?

When our forebears commenced building Malaysia 61 years ago, we were a plural nation. We comprised of many ethnic groups. We still do. Somewhere along the way, things changed. We have lost that Malaysian identity.  Over the years, we have regressed into a form of forced cultural separation.  We have withdrawn, for refuge, into our respective ethnic groups. This does not bode well. A look at recent history might give some ...

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The tale behind these Constitutional essays

You have seen the articles emerging from this blog since 09 May 2018 — or ‘5-0-9’ as I called the GE14 (the date of May 09th, 2018). There is a story behind these articles. Their production and timing were wholly accidental. In the years to come the people may become quiescent.  They may, once again, feel re-assured behind their closed doors. But these issues filled the night of 5-0-9, like night-tracer shells from artillery.  ...

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Why the unholy rush to appoint a new Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal?

We are at it again. If a person makes an error once, one can attribute it to a lapse of judgement. If a person makes the same error repeatedly, something is not right. When the outgoing Chief Justice of the Federal Court (‘CJ’) and the President of the Court of Appeal (‘PCA’) were appointed  there was widespread discontent with the process of their appointment. The complaint was that they had been appointed ...

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Karpal and Kit Siang – two colossi

Someone asked me last week, ‘What did Karpal do for us? What did Lim Kit Siang?’ I blinked. I thought I didn’t hear it right. What did they do? The guy who asked was young. Too young. I attempted an answer and unaccountably slipped into melancholy. I began by saying... These men fought a long-drawn out battle against an implacable enemy—entrenched racism. They fought for the rule of law. They argued that the ...

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How do the ‘Rule of Law’ and Separation of Powers’ really work?

In the last few weeks we have been hearing the phrase ‘the Rule of Law’. It is time to examine this and another related concept, the ‘Separation of Powers’. If we do, we will encourage our nation rulers to work better, work more effectively, and work to produce justice. Rule of Law The concept of Rule of Law is easy to understand.  You needn't be a lawyer to know what it is: you can ...

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Gerrymandering: Destruction Of A Democracy-101

Is every vote of equal strength? Does every vote, cast at any part of the nation, possess the same effect? Let’s use the 2018 General Elections (GE-14) as an example. The Kapar parliamentary constituency [P109] represents one seat in parliament. The Putrajaya constituency [P125] also represents one seat. What is the difference? Kapar had, in GE-14, 124,983 voters. Putrajaya had 27,314 voters. So, comparing apple-to-apple, for a single parliamentary seat, Kapar had 4.6 times ...

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The deathly silence of dissent in our courts…

Dissent means disagreement between judges.  In a case comprising, say 3 judges, a dissent occurs when one judge distances himself or herself from the other 2 on grounds of legal principle. A dissent is not without its uses.  It may limit the majority decision in some way.  Or the dissent may bear a seed of a wonderful legal point waiting to germinate at some future time. A brilliant lawyer will water ...

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Is Any Former Prime Minister Immune From Criminal Prosecution?

A recent spate of social media messages argue that the former prime minister Najib enjoys absolute immunity from criminal sanction. The messages refer to an article by Mr Charles Hector, entitled: ‘Najib – Cannot be charged for crimes as a public servant until law is changed?’ Now, did Charles say the former PM was immune from any criminal prosecution? In 2016, Tun Mahathir sued Najib.  Mahathir alleged that there had been ...

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