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Nov 17, 2008

The Malaysian swan song


Mtoday | ....Malaysia has many Acts. Publishing and Printing Press Act, University and University Colleges Act, Societies Act, Police Act, Sedition Act, Official Secrets Act, Internal Security Act, amongst just some of our draconian laws, and all these Acts were passed by Parliament after Merdeka. Therefore it is not true when our leaders argue that these are old British Laws inherited by our country.

The old British laws are called Ordinances, such as the Emergency Ordinance, which also allows for detention without trial. In fact, Malaysia has many duplicate laws -- Acts and Ordinance -- and both are still being applied. In other words, the Ordinances have not been repealed in spite of the newer Acts that have been passed which should have replaced the old British laws.

As an example, although we have the newer Anti-Corruption Act, Anwar Ibrahim was charged, convicted and sentenced to six years jail under the old British Ordinance in 1998-1999. They chose to charge Anwar under the old Ordinance rather than the newer Act because it was easier to get Anwar convicted. They felt under the newer Act they might have problems convicting Anwar.

There are certain laws still being applied which actually violate the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. But then there is a provision in the Constitution which allows Parliament to pass unconstitutional laws in the event the country is facing an emergency. In other words, if Malaysia were under ‘attack’ it would be legal for Parliament to pass ‘illegal’ laws. This is called the ends justifying the means or matlamat menghalalkan cara.

Emergency was actually declared back in 1962 when Indonesia declared war on Malaysia and we went through a period of Konfrontasi. Though the confrontation with Indonesia ended later on, the emergency was never lifted and when race riots erupted in may 1969 the government just ‘rode on’ the emergency already declared in 1962 and which was never lifted.... selanjutnya.


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