Can Senators be fired?

Can Senators be fired? The answer is Yes, and, No. The ‘No’ comes from those who say that the security of tenure of a Senator is unimpeachable. They point to Article 45 (3) of the Federal Constitution, which states that: - ‘… the term of office of a member of the Senate shall be three years and shall not be affected by a dissolution of Parliament.’ A Senator may be appointed twice, making ...

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Can judges be hauled up before Parliament? How?

[GK Ganesan Kasinathan, Advocate and Solicitor, Kuala Lumpur] [20 June 2018] What happens when judges, bending like reeds in the wind, carry out the biddings of politicians in power? Something extraordinary has to be done. Bad judges ought to be publicly impeached.  To impeach means to proceed against a public official (here, a judge) for a crime, or for misfeasance.  ‘Misfeasance’ means improper or unlawful execution of an otherwise lawful act. Why not just tribunalise ...

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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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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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Time To Rebuild The Malaysian Judiciary

Legal History The electoral tsunami is over. It is now time to rebuild institutions of state, the foremost of which is the judiciary. Now that we speak of the judiciary, the first thought that springs to mind is the concept of Rule of Law.  That originated centuries ago.  The English Magna Carta (‘The Great Charter’), signed in 1215, was a turning point for the development of the Rule of Law. Two principles are ...

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