What system of governance: Theocracy, democracy or secular? — Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAHABERDEEN MOHAMED YUNOOS

An opinion piece - file pic

An opinion piece – file pic

SEPT 19 — To me, and I repeat, to me, it is not about being obsessed with the label of “secular” or “Islamic” country though I do not have serious problems with people using the term. I try to understand what they are actually saying as the substance is more important than the label.

My position is clear: I do not support oppressive regimes or ideas whether they are labelled “secular” or “Islamic”. To be clear, I do not support a “secular system” that is anti religion as that is oppressive of a person’s faith. Likewise I do not support an “Islamic system” that takes away the professed Muslim’s inherent right to serve Allah as he understands it from the Quran as that is equally oppressive of faith.

In any case, I believe the practice of one’s faith or religion should not be allowed to affect national security, general public order, peace and harmony in the country or deny the basic fundamental rights and liberties of other citizens guaranteed under our Federal Constitution.

A theocratic state is often understood to be a political State which is founded on a particular religion. A theocracy may be defined as a form of government which defers not to civil development of law, but to an interpretation of the ‘will of a God’ as set out in religious scripture and authorities.  Read more

Accountability of the attorney-general — Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAHABERDEEN MOHAMED YUNOOS

SEPT 5 — The Attorney-General’s (AG) Office is understandably of concern to the citizens. In our country, the attorney-general heads the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) which is responsible for a host of duties and responsibilities including drafting of statutes, regulations, and by laws, advising the government on legal matters and instituting and conducting criminal prosecutions.

The AGC, therefore, in its role of prosecuting for offences or deciding not to prosecute becomes a vital part of the country’s justice system.

The public in general is affected by the AG’s use of discretion as provided for under Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution.  It provides that  the AG “shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Muslim court, a native court or a court-martial”.

It means the AG can decide to charge someone for an offence or not and also whether a criminal proceeding against someone should be discontinued. In cases where a criminal act may be the subject of several offences or statutes, the AG may exercise his discretion as to which charges and how many he wants to proffer.

I believe the discretionary powers given to the AG must not only be exercised in accordance with the law, as it is his duty to uphold the rule of law, it must also be exercised compassionately. The power, for example, to discontinue proceedings in certain cases, requires the consideration of facts and circumstances that are peculiar to a particular case. Read more

Hadi’s Private Member’s Bill and its implications — Jaharberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAHARBERDEEN MOHAMED YUNOOS

Malaysian Parliament - MMO File pic

Malaysian Parliament – MMO File pic

MAY 30 — There are essentially three dimensions to the Private Member’s Bill sought to be passed by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, which the government graciously allowed to jump queue in the list of matters to be debated in Parliament.

First is the political dimension where PAS is clearly trying to achieve a political score with the Malay voters.  It has been widely publicising it is willing to work with anyone to achieve its “Islamic goal”.  In this case, if the Bill succeeds, PAS will have the “glory” in political history as the party which was responsible for “enhancing the status of Shariah courts” and for paving the way for further implementation of  Islamic criminal law.

If it does not succeed in passing the Bill, Umno MPs will be accused of being insincere and “opposed to Islamic laws”.  Clearly, in this game, PAS gets the credit either way with the general Malay voters.

Politically, Umno therefore is “snookered” unless it can bring the issue up to another completely different intellectual and political level which I am afraid Umno is incapable of due to misconceived fear and other reasons.

Secondly, the Constitutional dimension.  As a matter of parliamentary courtesy, it is admirable the government has given way to a Private Member’s Bill from the Opposition to be heard before government business, which always takes precedence. I believe this is the first time and as the Parliament speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin repeatedly tried to educate the opposing members from the Opposition, this is a precedent. Read more

Do not underrate importance and freedom of thought — Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

APRIL 4 — One of the most important distinguishing features between humans and animals is our ability to think and reason.

Due to our thinking faculties, we are able to be the dominant species on the planet. We have heard words and ideas such as “intelligence”, “cleverness”, “creativity”, “innovativeness” and so on. All these ideas relate to the various ways in which the brain functions.

The brain if you like, is in a sense like the computer — garbage in garbage out.  In other words, the usefulness of your brain to you and others will depend largely on what you put inside your brain and how actively you use its potential and capability. Read more

Blow lid on whistleblower — Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY JAHABERDEEN MOHAMED YUNOOS

MARCH 28 — In the midst of confusion surrounding the business of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), there appears to be bemusement among some sectors of the public on what a “whistleblower” is in law.

A whistleblower, in law, is not someone who whistles loudly any tune or music he wants in public with the purported motive of disclosing a wrongdoing by some government department. If that was the legal position, then any number of government agencies can be vilified and undermined in public on the pretext of whistleblowing — as in the case of trial by media.

Likewise, writing a blog article for example, based on so-called inside information, to disclose a purported wrong by say, a minister or a ministry, also does not qualify as whistleblowing in law.

Contrary to his expectations, the blog writer could end up committing various crimes and may even face potential civil liability if his accusations of wrongdoings are levelled at individuals.

For this reason and reasons that follow herein, I am surprised why quite a few refer to the Sarawak Report as a “whistleblowing site” because, at best, what are reported are allegations which are not proven in accordance with the law. Read more