Justice in Malaysia?

There was a time when the Malaysian courts were revered in the eyes of the world. This if course was destroyed in 1988 when the ‘ judiciary crisis’, as it is termed today, happened. I found this article here written awhile back, which articulates exactly how the court system went into rot.

Is it so surprising then, that RPK had no confidence in the judiciary? Since the Perak constitutional crisis, we’ve seen the courts actings ultra vires beyond their judicial powers, clearly serving their political masters of the day. I believe the layman takes no real interest in the courts, because to them it does not affect their daily lives. During the Nazi regime in Germany, the German courts were very much involved in the crimes against humanity that happened there.

Here’s an excerpt from http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/naziregime.html

In order to place the complete control of the machinery of Government in the hands of the Nazi leaders, a series of laws and decrees were passed which reduced the powers of regional and local governments throughout Germany, transforming them into subordinate divisions of the Government of the Reich. Representative assemblies in the Laender were abolished and with them all local elections. The Government then proceeded to secure control of the Civil Service. This was achieved by a process of centralisation, and by a careful sifting of the whole Civil Service administration. By a law of the 7th April it was provided that officials “who were of non-Aryan descent ” should be retired; and it was also decreed that ” officials who because of their previous political activity cannot be guaranteed to exert themselves for the national state without reservation shall be discharged.” The law of the 11th April, 1933, provided for the discharge of ” all Civil Servants who belong to the Communist Party.” Similarly, the Judiciary was subjected to control. Judges were removed from the Bench for political or racial reasons. They were spied upon and made subject to the strongest pressure to join the Nazi Party as an alternative to being dismissed. When the Supreme Court acquitted three of the four defendants charged with complicity in the Reichstag fire, its jurisdiction in cases of treason was thereafter taken away and given to a newly established ” People’s Court “, consisting of two judges and five officials of the Party. Special courts were set up to try political crimes and only party members were appointed as judges. Persons were arrested by the SS for political reasons, and detained in prisons and concentration camps, and the judges were without power to intervene in any way. Pardons were granted to members of the Party who had been sentenced by the judges for proved offences. In 1935 several officials of the Hohenstein concentration camp were convicted of inflicting brutal treatment upon the inmates. High Nazi officials tried to influence the Court, and after the officials had been convicted, Hitler pardoned them all. In 1942 ” Judges’ letters” were sent to all German judges by the Government, instructing them as to the ” general lines ” that they must follow.

The judiciary is the most powerful tool that a government may use for totalitarian control. That is why, the hallmark of any democracy is the separation of powers between the legislature,executive and most importantly the courts. I do not know which law school our judges went to, but clearly they must have fallen asleep in their constitutional law classes. The phrase ‘justice must not only be done, but must be seen to  be done’ clearly also applies. Perception of the public therefore, is a most important factor.

What is your perception then of Malaysia? My sister asked me a cynical question the other day; ‘Do you think in the eyes of the world Malaysia is in shit right now?’

I’d probably agree. Until and unless we can have an impartial court system, who acts without fear or favour, we will always be in ‘shit’. And we’ve been in shit ever since 1988, that was when I was only 2 years old. 21 years down the line, where are we today?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: