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Friday, February 24, 2012

19-year old girl who can remember only her last 24 hours

A 19-year-old girl in Britain has no past. She suffers from a rare condition that wipes out her memories leaving her at the mercy of her family to even remember if she has had her breakfast.

Susac Syndrome is a rare disease and till date only about 250 cases have been reported in the whole world. This medical condition affects the person so much that they can't remember what they did yesterday, reports The Sun.

Doctors expect the teenager to improve in another five years but they caution that any hearing or sight loss during the period would be permanent.

Till a year ago, she was a performing art student who was able to recall the entire script of 'We Will Rock You' and now she can't even remember her beloved grandmother's funeral which took place last year. She has to be constantly reminded that two of her friends are pregnant and hence they are gaining weight.

She is totally dependent on her family and can barely go out on her own as her sense of balance is also being affected. She has already had to give up college and more heartbreak soon follow as she might have to give up her job at a diner.

Housemaid caught on camera mixing her urine with family food

A Saudi man suspecting the behavior of his Ethiopian housemaid decided to install secret cameras in the kitchen. When he later checked the film, he got the shock of his life when he saw the maid urinating in the cooking dish.

The Saudi Arabic language daily Sharq published the one-minute film showing the maid taking her pants off, placing the cooking pan under her and pissing into it. She then lifted the dish and started to prepare the meal for her employers.

“We apologize for publishing this indecent film but we did so to warn families against any improper behavior by their maids,” the paper said without mentioning where that family lives in Saudi Arabia.

Teenage girl broke down as she told police about rape by members of gang from Rochdale and Oldham, court told

A teenage girl broke down as she told police how she was raped by members of a group of men accused of using under age girls for sex, a court heard.

The teenager sobbed as she told an officer during an interview she had been repeatedly molested at a takeaway and then on another occasion taken to a flat where she was forced to have sex with two men, it was said. A jury was played a series of police video interviews taken in 2008 on the second day of a trial of 11 men at Liverpool Crown Court.

The men, from Rochdale and Oldham, are accused of plying young girls with drink and using them for sex.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, repeatedly described how she felt 'dirty' and 'disgusted' following a series of incidents during 2008 which she outlined to a police officer.

During one of the interviews, she described how a man raped her on a bare mattress in an upstairs room of a takeaway. She told the officer she had been given vodka and then ordered to have sex with the man.

She said: "I said why. He said it's part of the deal because I've bought you vodka. You have to do it with me."

She gave shocking details of the alleged incident and said she then left the takeaway. The girl broke down as she described a second incident during the recording in which she alleged she had been taken to a flat in Oldham and forced to have sex with two men.

She described how she was forced to perform a sex act, adding: "I was crying, saying leave me alone, I don't want to do it. He just ignored me and carried on." She said she was then forced to have sex with another man on the same occasion and refused to have sex with a third man.

Dr M admits wrote to ex-Israeli PM

Dr Mahathir said he responded to the Israeli prime minister to express Malaysia’s disapproval. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today confessed to corresponding with his then Israeli counterpart, Ehud Barak, but said this was to convey Malaysia’s refusal to recognise the Jewish state.

“I responded saying that Malaysia will not have any ties with them (Israel) for as long as they refused to acknowledge the right of the Palestinians,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in a Bernama Online report today.

According to the ex-prime minister, Barak had initiated the exchange to seek a softening of Malaysia’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Allegations on the existence of this correspondence had surfaced online recently.

Today, Dr Mahathir said he wanted to publicise the letter but was advised against it by his administration.

Malaysia’s alleged ties with Israel were again dragged into the spotlight when the Wall Street Journal quoted Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as saying in an interview that he supported “all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel.” He later clarified to say his backing was conditional.

This led to Umno rivals and Dr Mahathir attacking the opposition leader as a Jewish sympathiser.

PKR pressure group Jingga 13 retaliated by highlighting the presence of Israeli vessels in local ports, claiming this affirmed claims that Malaysia had clandestine ties with Israel.

Malaysia is a staunch supporter of Palestine and has no diplomatic relationship with Israel.

Muslim politicians have long vied for support from Malays by denouncing what they say are inhumane acts of aggression by Israel towards its neighbour.

Does Perkasa have MCA’s support?

Rosmah's dinner with Perkasa another indication of BN’s endorsement of the extremist Malay group, says DAP.

PETALING JAYA: What is the MCA’s relationship with the Malay supremacist group Perkasa?

This was the question posed by Kampung Tunku assemblyman (DAP) Lau Weng San after he attacked Rosmah Mansor’s attendance at a Perkasa dinner last week.

He claimed that the presence of the Prime Minister’s wife at the event showed that BN was secretly supporting Perkasa and that the Najib administration endorsed extremism and racism.

He asked MCA to explain why it was willing to associate itself with Perkasa, which he said was “inflicting harm on the Chinese community”.

As an example of Perkasa’s anti-Chinese stance, he cited the recent incident in which the Malay group’s leader, Ibrahim Ali, gave out white ang pows to a group of elderly Chinese invited to its Chinese New Year dinner. (The Chinese use white envelopes for ang pows only during funerals.)

Low criticised MCA and its president, Dr Chua Soi Lek, for not censuring Ibrahim for the insult.
He accused the party of having collaborated with Perkasa in various events aimed at bringing down the Selangor state government, citing the presence of MCA leaders in Perkasa-organised street demonstrations against the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor.

FMT reported last July that Selangor MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Theng Book and his deputy Kelvin Chong had joined former Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah in one of those protests.
Lau said MCA leaders were also at a Perkasa protest in December 2010.

‘Mechanic may have made false report’

Police reveal their version of the alleged 'Rela-police assault' on 42-year-old S Mogan, assuring the public of a fair probe.

KAJANG: The 42-year-old mechanic who claimed to have been assaulted by the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) personnel and policemen was not even interrogated by the police who first detained him at the Taming Jaya police station, according to initial investigations by the Kajang police.

District police chief ACP Ab Rashid Ab Wahab said that the current probe revealed a different story from what S Mogan had alleged earlier this week.

“Yes, those three names the man mentioned exist. But our records show that the said policemen were not at the station at that hour, they only got to work at 8am,” he added.

Rashid said Mogan was merely held at the Taming Jaya station and later handed over to the investigating officer at the Kajang police headquarters, only then was he interrogated.

“When he was at the Taming Jaya station between 5am to 8am, no interrogation took place, the complainant’s statement was only recorded by the investigating officer Sargeant Ali at the Kajang police district headquarters,” he added.

Rashid said police were now looking into the possibility that the victim had made a false report, but stressed that they “can’t decide on anything until the probe was thoroughly completed”

“We are not drawing any conclusions from this, and will leave it to the Deputy Public Prosecutor, but this is what our investigations so far show,” he told a press conference.

‘They saw him climbing into a substation’

He said while statements from nine Rela men and three policemen had been recorded, the complainant had yet to come forward to give his statement, citing that he was unwell.

Rashid added that police had also have viewed CCTV recordings and took statements from eyewitnesses.
Pointing out several contradictory statements

between Mogan and several other witnesses, Rashid said:”Firstly, the arrest was not made at a petrol station in Balakong, he was spotted by two Rela men who said they saw him climbing into a substation in Kampung Cheras Baru.”

Rashid said that according to Rela, Mogan then ran and hid in the bushes.

Following a call for back up, seven other Rela personnel had joined the two and had waited in a car for an hour before the man emerged from his hiding place and was apprehended.

“They also found various tools in the man’s car but he had claimed it was for his work as a patrolling mechanic,” said Rashid.

The police chief said when the suspect was handed over to the Taming Jaya station at about 3am, the man did not complain of any bruises or that he was assaulted by the Rela personnel.

“There were only minor wounds on his legs as a result of him running barefooted and we took pictures. He did not complain on that day to our officers. We are suspicious why he went to the doctor only after four days if it (his leg) was really broken,” he added.

Rashid said the suspect was released on Feb 16, after police found no concrete evidence of any offence committed. Mogan had lodged a report on Feb 19 on the alleged assault.

‘It would be unfair to suspend those involved’

Asked if the policemen who had allegedly beaten Mogan would be suspended, Rashid said that it would be unfair do so.

“Yes, in A Kugan’s case it was serious, and in this case we have yet to complete investigations. We can’t punish someone before he is proven guilty,” he added.
Rashid stressed that investigations were still incomplete until the complainant’s statement was taken.

“Until then, we will not stop our investigations and we will do our utmost to be fair to all parties,” he added.
Asked if Rela had the authority to make arrests, Rashid said it was considered a citizen’s arrest and anyone could do so.

On Feb 16, Mogan was allegedly subjected to hours of torture by law enforcement officers including having a gun pointed to his head to force a confession out of him.

He had claimed that the incident first started at a petrol station just 200 metres from his workshop-home in Taman Balakong Jaya.

He had claimed that eight men, five of whom were uniformed Rela personnel, had accosted him, searched his car and beaten him with batons and iron rods so badly that a bone in his left leg fractured.

Mogan also claimed that after being sent to the Taming Jaya station, four policemen abused him in order to get him to confess to car theft, drug dealing and various other crimes.

Mogan said he was handcuffed and put in an interrogation room where four men continually beat, kicked and stepped on him. They also used a rubber hose to hit his legs and feet.

He claimed that during interrogation, one officer pointed a gun to his head and threatened to kill him.
Mogan also said that several items were stolen from his car.

Small boys playing grownup games

In 1998, the objective was to bring down Dr Mahathir. In 2004, the objective was to bring down Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In 2008, the objective was to weaken Barisan Nasional. In the next election, the objective is to try to take over the federal government -- or, if we can’t do that, then at least get as close as possible to a hung Parliament so that Barisan Nasional will be severely weakened and what will emerge in its place is a strong two-party system.
Raja Petra Kamarudin

RPK, I don't understand you. You whack almost everybody. I understand your desire for clean honest leaders but these are no angels and you will never find one. Besides how can you find an answer when you just throw the mud on your blog for everyone to agree or disagree? DSAI is not an angel but he is by the only one we can look upon to lead us to topple the BN. – HARRY
In 1919, at the end of WWI, the victorious nations of Europe organised the Paris Peace Conference, which resulted in the Treaty of Versailles. Basically, Germany’s face was rubbed into the mud, a great mistake -- in particular the war-guilt clause, which the Germans never forgot or forgave until the next generation.
Then along came Hitler and he gave hope to the German people -- in that he could lead them to restore Germany’s pride and dignity. (Incidentally, Hitler had fought in WWI).
Of course, Hitler was not a virtuous leader. He was, in fact, very dangerous. He was organising violent street demonstrations with an aim to destabilise the government. But he was able to talk. His speeches moved the people. Very few at that time, or even now (maybe except for Sukarno of Indonesia) could move the people like Hitler could.
Today, taking advantage of hindsight, the Germans made a great mistake in allowing Hitler to lead the country. But the German were desperate. They had been greatly shamed. And Hitler was the only man who could erase this shame and restore Germany to what it used to be, the most powerful nation in Europe. The cost matters little when it comes to pride, dignity and glory. And in Germany’s case it was a huge cost indeed.
Rewind to 1800, in neighbouring France, soon after the Storming of the Bastille in 1789. The whole of Europe had ganged up on France. France’s neighbours -- that included England, Russia, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Prussia, the Italian Republic, the Papal States, etc. -- wanted the Republic destroyed and the monarchy restored. France needed a leader to end the chaos and anarchy, the period that we now call The Reign of Terror.
Then along came Napoleon and he gave hope to the French people. He was a war hero. He led an army that had been victorious in many battles against odds stacked up against him. His small army swept across Europe and demolished bigger and better-organised armies. And, most important of all, he could talk. He could give speeches that moved the people.
So the French chose him to lead France. And he crowned himself Emperor with the Pope in attendance, which means God Himself endorses his coronation. And then he grabbed the crown from the Pope and crowned his wife the Empress. Never before had the world seen such a thing. And never before has a man born from the masses and not from nobility been crowned by the Pope.
So I would agree with Harry’s comments above. I am a student of history (I am still studying, in fact, and my final exam will be in two months time). So I know all about leadership. And we need strong leaders. And, sometimes, strong leaders may not translate to virtuous leaders.
There is this story about the Muslim army of Medina preparing for war and the Prophet Muhammad chose a general who was not quite of a virtuous character to lead the army. The Prophet’s companions decided to speak to the Prophet about it. Why can’t the Prophet choose a more religious person? This particular person is known to indulge in certain ‘weaknesses’ (if you know what I mean).
And the Prophet replied that to win a war we need the most skilled soldier and not the most religious person to lead the army. Of course, those were not the exact words but that is basically the story of what happened.
So I know about compromises. And I know that a good politician may not necessarily mean that that person is a good leader. And a good leader may not necessarily mean that that person is a good administrator. And a good deputy may not necessarily mean that that person will make a good number one. And a clean person may not necessarily mean he or she will be a good leader. And so on. Even the Prophet chose a skilled soldier over a religious man to lead his army, much to the puzzlement of his comrades.
Am I really as na├»ve as you think I am? You think I did not know of Anwar Ibrahim’s weaknesses before this?
I knew him from school in 1963. I knew him when he joined Umno in 1982. I knew him when he challenged Suhaimi for the Umno Youth Leadership. I knew him when he made a bid for the Umno Vice Presidency and offered the Umno Youth Leadership to Najib as ‘payment’ to entice Najib to support Dr Mahathir instead of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. I knew him when he made a bid for the Umno Deputy Presidency. I knew him when he made a bid to oust Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Do you know that in 1996, two years before Anwar was kicked out and sent to jail, I wrote in the PAS newspaper, Harakah, that Anwar will make a bid to topple Dr Mahathir and attempt to take over the leadership of Umno, meaning also become the Prime Minister of Malaysia? I even joked that if the ‘RAHMAN Theory’ were correct, this would mean Rahman, Abdul Razak, Hussein, Mahathir, Anwar and Neo Yee Pan.
Nevertheless, I said in that article that Anwar is going to fail. He will never be able to oust Dr Mahathir. Anwar’s political career is going to end as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. And this is because Dr Mahathir is a better and more skilled politician than Anwar. Dr Mahathir is Machiavellian. You really don’t know what he is up to. He can smile and praise you as he holds the knife in his hand hidden behind his back. Anwar, on the other hand, is so transparent you can read him like an open book (and I use the word ‘transparent’ not in the positive light).
This was what I wrote in 1996 and which Harakah published. The long article was called ‘The Rise and Fall of Anwar Ibrahim’.
In fact, the Old Boys of MCKK can probably remember the MCOBA annual dinner of 1996 where I wrote the script of a musical about the history of Umno. Rehman Rashid and Hishamuddin Rais also helped with polishing that script. The late Pak Din played Dr Mahathir and Latt Shahriman played Anwar. Of course, we had to get the more jambu boys to play Rafidah and her challenger, Dr Siti Zaharah.
The play opened with ‘Dr Mahathir’ crying during the Umno annual assembly (to the song ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to’) and it ended with ‘Tengku Razaleigh’ breaking up with ‘Nik Aziz’, rejoining Umno and hugging ‘Dr Mahathir’ (to the song ‘Reunited and it feels so good’), and ‘Anwar’ being kicked off the stage (and hence out of Umno).
Someone gave Anwar a copy of the video and he was pissed because we took the piss out of him. The following year, he decided to attend the annual dinner in case, again, we make fun of him on stage. That was the first and last dinner he ever attended. The following year he was already in jail -- bad fengshui attending the MCOBA dinner.
However, when what I ‘predicted’ in 1996 did happen, we rallied around him. Yes, we know who Anwar is. Most Old Boys of MCKK know as well. But many Old Boys rallied around him not only because he was an Old Boy but also because we did not like what Dr Mahathir did to him.
That was the bottom line. And we supported him as the leader of the opposition because the opposition needed a leader and did not have one yet.  Furthermore, the opposition needed a leader who could bring PAS and DAP to the negotiating table and only Anwar could do that. Even Tengku Razaleigh failed on that score.
Can you remember that Tengku Razaleigh’s Semangat 46 had THREE coalitions? On the West Coast with DAP it was called Gagasan Rakyat. On the East Coast with PAS it was called Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU). And in Sabah it was another coalition with PBS that was not given a name.
So, while Tengku Razaleigh could not get all the ‘warring parties’ to sit at one table, Anwar could. Hence we supported him as Opposition Leader.
So what does that make me? A hypocrite? I said I know Anwar and yet I supported him. No, that makes me a realist. That means I am pragmatic. This shows I know what the focus is. And the focus was to bring down Dr Mahathir.
In fact, Anwar himself told us not to attack Umno. There are some people in Umno who are sympathetic to us so we do not want to antagonise them. The target is Dr Mahathir and those within his inner circle. So that was the focus of our attacks.
But that was in 1998. In 1998, the objective was to bring down Dr Mahathir. In 2004, the objective was to bring down Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In 2008, the objective was to weaken Barisan Nasional. In the next election, the objective is to try to take over the federal government -- or, if we can’t do that, then at least get as close as possible to a hung Parliament so that Barisan Nasional will be severely weakened and what will emerge in its place is a strong two-party system.
In 1990, the catalyst was Tengku Razaleigh. In 1999, it was Anwar Ibrahim. For the next election it is no longer about Tengku Razaleigh or Anwar. It is already beyond both of them. This time around the catalyst has to be the rakyat.
The rakyat need not stand behind Tengku Razaleigh or Anwar. Instead, Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar have to stand behind the rakyat. This time, neither Tengku Razaleigh nor Anwar are going to lead the charge like last time. This time, the rakyat are going to lead the charge.
And if I have to keep drumming this into your heads I will continue to do so, regardless of all the names the Pakatan Rakyat people may call me and all the ridicule and mocking that I am subjected to.
This is not about Caesar. This is about Rome.

Maritime Shooting Sparks India-Italy Standoff

Enrica Lexie, all engines stop off Kerala
Italian marines guarding oil tanker kill fishermen by mistake
Rome and New Delhi are facing a full-blown diplomatic crisis over two Italian Navy Marines personnel who mistakenly killed two local fishermen 23 nautical miles off the coast of India’s southern most state of Kerala.

The trouble began when Italian sailors on board the oil tanker Enrica Lexie sailing from Singapore to Egypt last week apparently mistook the unarmed Indian fishermen for Somali pirates and shot them dead. Authorities are still trying to sort out what exactly happened.

The incident has created a furor in polls-bound Kerala where the two have been charged with murder at a coastal police station. Complicating the already sensitive situation are assembly elections being currently held in in the state. There are fears that contending politicians are using the matter to whip up communal passions and might even influence the investigative outcome.

The captain of the Enrica Lexie insists that the sailors had encountered “five armed men and not unarmed fishermen” and that they had fired into the water and not at individuals. The Italians are also insisting that as the shooting occurred in what they describe as international waters on an Italian-flagged ship, the servicemen qualify as state officials who ought to be given diplomatic immunity. India maintains sovereignty over a 12-mile coastal zone although by international treaty foreign ships are allowed innocent passage.

The squabble between the two companies illustrates what many observers have feared about the dangers of such incidents as shipping companies have begun to post armed guards aboard ships for security. Italy changed its laws in August to allow Italian Navy Marines aboard its vessels. Other countries have begun to allow their merchant ships to hire private contractors, raising the specter of trigger-happy marksmen shooting before they fully identify what they are shooting at.

Rome has been emphatic that prosecution and investigation of the two marines should be conducted according to United Nations laws and not Indian ones as the presence of armed guards on board the ship corresponded to UN resolutions.

While Rome has been pushing for diplomatic immunity for the sailors, India has countered by stating that such cover is "state specific" and that a diplomat posted in one country cannot enjoy immunity in another. India has also emphasized that the crime was committed against an Indian vessel, even if it was in the "contiguous zone" (territory whose ownership is ambiguous) and that unarmed Indian fishermen were shot dead. Therefore it insists that the case falls under Indian jurisdiction and prosecution as per Indian laws. Delhi has also rejected the pirate claim, pointing out that the Kollam coast where the fishermen were killed is not infested with pirates.

The killing of the two fishermen is an “unpardonable crime,” said Kerala Shipping Minister G K Vasan. “Our waterfront is not infested by pirates. So it is an unpardonable crime to shoot innocent fishermen thinking they are pirates. There is no second opinion on whether to punish them for the act.”

The Italians have interpreted provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to offer their own inquiry. The Indian team, however, is of the firm view that the crime was against an Indian trawler involving unarmed fishermen and not naval ships. "Contacts and collaboration between the two governments are essential to establish the facts in the face of unilateral actions being undertaken by police authorities," the Ministry of External Affairs said.

India and Italy are now engaged in frenetic diplomatic talks to resolve the matter. The Italians are angry that the Indian police took "coercive" and "unilateral" action when it escorted the two sailors off the oil tanker and arrested them. It has also sought to quash the case in the Kerala High Court.

With the Italian sailors under a three-day police- and 14-day judicial custody, the impasse shows no signs of abating. Italy has gone into diplomatic overdrive, even requesting that the Vatican prevail upon Catholic leaders in India to attempt to secure the release of the Navy guards after paying some compensation to the fishermen’s families.

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan De Mistura has also flown from Rome to meet his Indian counterpart, Preneet Kaur and senior external affairs ministry officials. Both talked on Wednesday against the backdrop of the families of the killed fishermen filing suit against the Italian shipping company and seeking compensation of about US$20,000. They also demanded that the Italian ship be barred from leaving Kerala until the company pays the full compensation.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, who was scheduled for a visit to New Delhi next week, has voiced his disenchantment with India over the handling of the issue. “There are currently considerable differences of a legal character. Up to now, I have not seen the cooperation between India and Italy that would be desirable and allow a quick resolution," he told reporters in Rome.

Rumors are swirling that Terzi might even call off his India visit (even though it had been planned earlier) to put pressure on India to release the sailors.

As the tiff acquires the overtones of jingoism, some voices are advocating caution.

“Both countries should desist from interpreting the episode in nationalistic terms,” said a newspaper editorial. It advised that the matter be resolved amicably through international law. Besides, in this age of technology and global positioning systems, it should not be difficult to establish the facts of the case, say experts. As the sailors fired at the fishermen mistaking them for pirates, their crime could not have been premeditated.”

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has publicly urged the Italians to cooperate even though Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has termed the incident as "cold-blooded murder" and promised "strict legal action".

However, with officials from both countries standing firm in terms of which law ought to prevail, the stage appears to be set for a protracted diplomatic drama. It just might even escalate further with Kerala opposition leaders invoking a phantom link to the ruling UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who is an Italian.

Be that as it may, Indian diplomats are urging caution to ensure that the issue is not “ratcheted up” by invoking nationalist sentiments or by leveraging it for political gain.

Commodore C Uday Bhaskar, former director of the National Maritime Foundation said on TV that “creeping nationalism” shouldn’t be allowed to overwhelm the proceedings and nor should domestic political games be allowed to “cramp the space for diplomacy”.

Former diplomat KC Singh observed that in fact, Italy sometimes has an unfair diplomatic disadvantage in India because of Sonia Gandhi’s Italian roots. “Italy gets no leeway at all, not even the options that are available to other European countries – like France.”

Singh said that a former Italian diplomat had told him that Italy “does not get the benefit of the doubt” with India, of the sorts that others get. India, he added, should “act responsibly and stop ratcheting a nationalist response.” He said that “we should turn it around and look inwards” to see whether any failings on the Indian side contributed to the tragedy.

Anwar Ibrahim Berucap Dalam "Zon Perang" Di Johor

The Malaysian Bar’s Request for Amendment to Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution

Explanatory Statement


The purpose of this proposed Amendment to Article 121 of the Federal Constitution is to affirm the doctrine of separation of powers and to ensure that the sovereignty of the judicial arm of government is inextricably infused within the basic structure of the Constitution.

1.  Malaysia and the elements of a constitutional democracy

1.1 Malaysia is a constitutional democracy. The integral elements of every constitutional democracy are the separation of its sovereign authority between different arms of Government and the vesting of powers in each arm of Government to check or oversee the exercise of the authority of the other arms.  These elements are referred to as the doctrine of separation of powers and the system of check and balance. 

1.2 The doctrine of separation of powers provides that executive power will be exercised by a body separate from the legislative authority, both of which would be separate from judicial authority.  

1.3 The system of check and balance allows the three bodies to oversee the exercise of authority vested in each other to prevent abuse. Such check and balance is essential to the health of a constitutional democracy, to uphold and safeguard the rights of the citizens, and to ensure that all acts undertaken within Malaysia are consistent with the Federal Constitution.

1.4 Malaya in 1957 was founded on the doctrine of separation of powers and the system of check and balance, which were encapsulated in the distribution of sovereign authority and division of powers between the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary under the Federal Constitution enacted at its independence in 1957 in amongst others, Article 39 (executive authority), Article 66 (legislative authority) and Article 121 (judicial power).1   

1.5 The separation of the exercise of judicial powers from the Legislature and Executive and the vesting of judicial power in the Judiciary which allowed it to act as an efficient check and balance on the other arms of Government, are fundamental to the rule of law.  The preservation of this separation of powers and system of check and balance is essential to the functionality and survival of our constitutional democracy. 

2. Article 121(1) prior to 1988

2.1 Prior to 1988, Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution provided as follows: 

Subject to Clause (2) the judicial power of the Federation shall be vested in two High Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction and status, namely—

(a) one in the States of Malaya, which shall be known as the High Court in Malaya and shall have its principal registry in Kuala Lumpur; and
(b) one in the States of Sabah and Sarawak, which shall be known as the High Court in Borneo and shall have its principal registry at such place in the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine;  

(c) (Repealed),

and in such inferior courts as may be provided by federal law.

2.2 While it is impossible to formulate an exhaustive definition of the term, ‘judicial power’ has been broadly defined as follows:

(a) The power which every sovereign authority must of necessity have to decide controversies between its subjects, or between itself and its subjects, whether the rights relate to life, liberty or property.2 

(b) The power to examine the questions submitted for determination with a view to the pronouncement of an authoritative decision as to rights and liabilities of one or more parties.

2.3 Given that the Federation’s judicial power was expressly vested in the High Court, it was indisputable that the High Court had supervisory jurisdiction over all inferior tribunals. In its exercise of its supervisory jurisdiction, the High Court has the right to conduct judicial review “over the proceedings and decisions of inferior courts, tribunals and other bodies or persons who carry out quasi-judicial functions or who are charged with the performance of public acts and duties.”4

2.4 Equally important, with the express vesting of judicial power in the High Court under Article 121(1), it was indisputable that the High Court retained an inherent jurisdiction over and above any express jurisdiction conferred by statutory law. Inherent jurisdiction refers to the “common law powers of the court, which are residuary or reserve powers and a separate and distinct source of jurisdiction from the statutory powers of the court.”5 This is by far the most important aspect of judicial power.  The High Court’s powers are not limited only to those granted to it by federal laws passed by Parliament; rather, it can assume jurisdiction over matters even where no statute has conferred jurisdiction on it.

2.5 In summary, judicial power enables the court, amongst others:

(a) to judicially review any and all matters, including the exercise of state powers;

(b) to make and develop common law; 

(c) to do justice as the case requires: and

(d) to ascertain the rights of litigants wherever there is a lacuna in the law.

3. The 1988 amendment to Article 121(1) and its impact

3.1 On 10 June 1988, Article 121(1) was amended to remove the words “the judicial power of the Federation shall be vested in two High Courts” from that Article, thus deleting the provision that the judicial power of the Federation vested in the Judiciary. Instead, it was stipulated that “the High Courts and inferior courts shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred by or under federal law”.

3.2 The amended Article 121(1) reads:

There shall be two High Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction and status, namely—

(a) one in the States of Malaya, which shall be known as the High Court in Malaya and shall have its principal registry at such place in the States of Malaya as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine; and

(b) one in the States of Sabah and Sarawak, which shall be known as  the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak and shall have its principal registry at such place in the States of Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine; 

(c) (Repealed),

and such inferior courts as may be provided by federal law; and the High Courts and inferior courts shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred by or under federal law.

3.3 The removal of the phrase “the judicial power of the Federation shall be vested in two High Courts” and the inclusion of the phrase “the High Courts and inferior courts shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred by or under federal law” have caused confusion in the Judiciary,6 the Executiveand the general public as having divested the courts of judicial power, leaving them with only such powers as are given by Parliament. Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, in his column entitled Reflecting on the Law in The Star on 16 April 2008 summed up the situation as follows:

The amendment to Article 121(1) has created the wrong perception that the Malaysian Executive wishes to silence the Judiciary. All Judges feel humiliated. Some have accepted their truncated role as mere agents of Parliament and not as independent pillars of the Federal Constitution. Others insist that their review powers are intact. There is division within the ranks.

3.4 The confusion generated by the 1988 amendment to Article 121(1) has created the belief or proliferated the misconception by some quarters that: 

(a) the courts are powerless to address issues and do justice wherever there is a lacuna in the law; 

(b) the courts are confined to merely interpreting and implementing acts of Parliament; 

(c) the courts are no longer able to make and develop common law; 

(d) the courts are deprived of their inherent jurisdiction, along with their inherent right to exercise judicial review over the decisions of public bodies and Executive functions.

3.5 All of the above has brought about the perception that the Judiciary is subservient to the Executive, and this has led to a serious deterioration in public confidence in the Judiciary. It is also inevitable that investor confidence would also be affected if investors are of the view that the Judiciary is not able to do justice as best as it could. 

3.6 However, judicial power is a power that Malaysia, as a sovereign state, must possess in order to “decide controversies between its subjects, or between itself and its subjects, whether the rights relate to life, liberty or property”, and such power must therefore be vested in an arm of Government in order that it can be exercised. As the Federation of Malaysia is a constitutional democracy in which the doctrine of separation of powers is inherent, the overriding judicial power of the Federation must and continues to be vested in the Judiciary, for it has not been and cannot be vested in either the Executive or the Legislature. In recent judicial decisions, a number of eminent Judges have held that the 1988 amendment to Article 121(1) does not or cannot have the effect of divesting the courts of the judicial power of the Federation.8

4. The proposed amendment – substantial restoration of Article 121(1) to its pre-1988 position

4.1 It is against this background of prevailing confusion and misconception that the amendment to the existing Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution is being proposed. 

4.2 The proposed amendment is to:

(a) remove the words “There shall be” at the beginning of the Clause and to insert in its place the words “The judicial power of the Federation shall be vested in”; and 

(b) delete the words “the High Courts and inferior courts shall have such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred by or under federal law” appearing at the end of the Clause.

4.3 The purpose of the amendment is to:

(a) Reaffirm the principle of separation of powers and the sovereignty of the Judiciary;

(b) Dispel any notion that the court does not possess judicial power and inherent jurisdiction; 

(c) Avoid further confusion as to the inherent jurisdiction of the courts to make orders as the justice of the case requires; and

(d) Avoid conflicting judicial decisions.

4.4 The proposed amendment would also give effect to one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Enquiry on the Video Clip Recording Images of a Person Purported to be an Advocate and Solicitor Speaking on the Telephone on Matters Regarding the Appointment of Judges (popularly knowing as the ‘Lingam Royal Commission’). In its report dated 9 May 2008, the Royal Commission recommended that Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution be re-amended to its original form “so that the Judiciary is free once again to live up to the highest expectations of society for all time. There will be no room for concern on the judicial power issue.”

4.5 The proposed amendment to Article 121(1) to its pre-1988 position however, does not make any changes to the remaining Clauses of Article 121.

Bar Council Malaysia
22 February 2012

Please click here to download the document.

1 A.L.R. Joseph, The Doctrine of Separation of Powers Survives in Malaysia, [2007] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 380-395, at 381.

2 Griffith CJ in Huddart, Parker and Co Proprietary Ltd v. Moorehead [1908] 8 CLR 330, cited with approval by the Privy Council in Shell Co. of Australia Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation [1931] AC 275 and referred to in PP v Dato’ Yap Peng [1987] 2 MLJ 311.

3 PP v Dato’ Yap Peng [1987] 2 MLJ 311

4 Halsbury’s Laws of England, 4th ed., vol. 37 (London: Butterworths, 2001) at 432, para. 567.

5 R. Rama Chandran v. The Industrial Court of Malaysia [1997] 1 M.L.J. 145.

6 Abdul Hamid Mohamad PCA (as he then was) in PP v Kok Wah Kuan [2007] 6 CLJ 341; MBf Holdings Berhad & Anor. v. Houng Hai Kong & 2 Ors [1993] 3 C.L.J. 373; Petaling Tin Bhd. v. Lee Kian Chan & Ors  [1992] 3 C.L.J. (Rep) 270.

7 ‘Federal Court has declared doctrine does not exist in constitution, says Govt’ The Star Online, 12 March 2011.

8 Gopal Sri Ram JCA (as he then was) in Kok Wah Kuan v PP [2007] 4 CLJ 454; Richard Malanjum CJ (Sabah & Sarawak) in PP v Kok Wah Kuan [2007] 6 CLJ 341; Heliliah Mohd Yusof FCJ in Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim v PP [2010] 7 CLJ 397.

Opposition's Allegation On Not Being Invited To Meeting Unfounded - PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the allegation that the opposition leaders were not invited to the recent Meeting of Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers should not arise as it was a normal practise and did not contravene the Federal Constitution.

He said the meeting, which was held two days ago, was a coordination meeting between the federal and state governments and was limited to menteris besar and chief ministers of Barisan Nasional states.

"We have a stand that all meetings which the Federal Constitution requires the participation of states, we will invite menteris besar and chief ministers of opposition states like National Land Council and local councils' meetings and those involving certain financial committees.

"As such, the question of invitation should not arise...they (opposition states) also have many meetings which they don't invite us, this also they want to complaint," he told a press conference after chairing Umno Supreme Council (MT) meeting here Friday night.

Najib was commenting on the Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim's remarks expressing disappointment for not being invited to the 114th Meeting of Menteris Besar and Chief Ministers chaired by Najib on Tuesday.

On today's MT meeting, Najib said it decided that Umno branches annual meetings for this year would be held from April 1 to 15 while divisional annual meetings from July 1 to Sept 15.

He also announced that Umno's 66th anniversary celebration would be held at Stadium Merdeka on May 11.

He said Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who would also be the organising chairman of the celebration, would be furnishing more details on it.

At the meeting, Najib also announced that Umno's membership as of Dec 31 2001 had increased by 113,116, bringing the total to 3,335,878.

On calls for the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah, Najib said the matter was being considered by the government.

How Anwar performed as Finance Minister (Part 1)

Whatever you may think of Anwar, he did manage to reduce the country’s budget deficit (as a percentage of GDP) and later even presided over surplus years.

Anwar was appointed Finance Minister in 1991 in the Mahathir administration and deputy PM in 1993. He was ousted from power in 1998.
Some (including me) may have reservations about what they perceive to be his neo-liberal inclinations, but it has to be said that we haven’t seen a surplus since Anwar was unceremoniously thrown out of office.
In fact, those five years of surpluses are the only years the government has achieved a surplus from 1970 until now.
No kidding – look at the figures from 1970 (figures from Bank Negara).