Article 121 amendment illegal, says ex-judge

Source: FMT News

Gopal Sri Ram says changes in 1988, which effectively removed the independence of the judiciary, is illegal because it cuts across basic structure of written Federal Constitution. Pic from FMT News.

Gopal Sri Ram says changes in 1988, which effectively removed the independence of the judiciary, is illegal because it cuts across basic structure of written Federal Constitution. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The amendment to Article 121 of the Federal Constitution in 1988 has effectively stripped the judiciary of its independence, a retired Federal Court judge says.

Gopal Sri Ram said the amendment to remove the phrase “judicial power of the Federation” during the term of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad restricted the judiciary, and thus had ruined the constitutional scheme of Malaysia.

“As a result, the Federal Court in a murder case of a teenager held that the court only has such powers and jurisdiction that Parliament allows it to have,” he told FMT.

Sri Ram said this in response to an observation made by Navi Pillay, a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that Malaysia did not have an independent judiciary.

At a talk in Penang last week, Pillay who now sits on the constitutional court of South Africa, said the jurisdiction of the Malaysian judiciary was circumscribed by Parliament through that amendment in 1988. Read more

Table UN human rights reports in parliament, says former UN envoy

Source: FMT News

Judge Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says public must know recommendations by the Human Rights Council on Malaysia. Pic taken from FMT News.

Judge Navi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says public must know recommendations by the Human Rights Council on Malaysia. Pic taken from FMT News.

GEORGE TOWN: A former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has urged Malaysia to raise and deliberate in its parliament the contents of two reports prepared by the world body on the state of human rights in the country.

Navi Pillay, who served as high commissioner from 2008 to 2014, said the recommendations and findings of the UN’s Human Rights Council need to be followed up on and appraised locally with a new report on the nation’s performance in the matter.

“Malaysia has been reviewed before the Human Rights Council (HRC) twice now (in 2009 and 2013.) That should be reported before parliament. It should be discussed,” she said.

Navi, who is also a former judge of the International Criminal Court, stressed that Malaysians need to be aware of the recommendations that their government told the HRC committee it would implement.

She said this in her keynote lecture during a forum titled ‘Affirmative Action in Malaysia – Who Gains? Who Loses?’ at the Penang Institute here last night. Also present as co-panellists were former Sabah state secretary Simon Sipaun, Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan and chief economist of DM Analytics Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid. Read more