We need the best brains in the land and the Bar Council to hold a watching brief at the Federal Court to protect the constitutional rights of all Malaysians, says Ronnie Ooi.
The Federal Court’s ruling on 25 February 2010 that it had no jurisdiction to review its own decision is utter nonsense. The three judges who came to this conclusion on Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rule – Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin, Mohd Ghazali Mohd Yusoff and Heliliah Mohd Yusof – were referred to by the former Court of Appeal judge, N H Chan, as “incompetent judges – perhaps they were clowns as their statements were laughable.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s comments when taking the Bar Council to task for their clarification with regard to Rohaizat Othman’s disbarment are totally unfair and uncalled for. The DPM is obviously ignorant of the circumstances leading to Rohaizat’s disbarment and does not understand the process involved in any action taken by the Disciplinary Board.
The Bar Council is not questioning the provisions of Article 121(1A), which confer Syariah jurisdiction over Muslims on the Syariah Courts. Its concern centres on the manner of dealing with the current conflicts. There must be a concerted effort by the Government to address these issues constructively and not pay mere lip service to the concerns of many.
To unilaterally demand that a perfectly sensible, responsible and objective public forum be stopped on account of the perceived injury to one community – real or imagined – smacks of bias and prejudice, and the failure to even understand the anxiety of other communities, observes Farish A Noor. One is compelled to ask if these ‘defenders of Islam’ have even thought of the pain and anguish caused to those families who have seen and lived through broken marriages, divorces and grave-robbings? Or do the feelings of other communities not count, and do other communities have no sensitivities?
Apparently during the commotion caused when some of the so-called ‘defenders of the faith’ had entered the room where the Bar Council forum on conversions to Islam was being held, there were calls for a certain ‘babi’ to ‘balik Cina‘. Aliran member Farish A Noor has checked and double-checked all the photos that are available on the internet and has seen no image that corresponds to the ‘babi‘ in question. For the sake of academic consistency and objectivity, he is compelled to ask the Bar Council this: Was there a pig in the auditorium where the forum was held?
Zooming in on what is going in Malaysian society in the aftermath of recent demonstrations organised by lawyers, the Bersih coalition and Hindraf, Khoo Boo Teik observes that the goodwill that was shown to Abdullah Badawi in 2003-2004 has largely evaporated. Is there is a whiff of reformasi in the air now?