Is the BN preparing for GE14? – Aliran Monthly 33: 7 editor’s note

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In our cover story, P Ramakrishnan says the BN government appears to be preparing the ground for GE14 by introducing repressive new laws to tighten the screws on any potential challenge to its rule.

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The controversial amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act and to the Penal Code should be seen in this light.

Meanwhile Kasthuri Patto decries the introduction of these repressive laws, which for many appear to be a reincarnation of the repealed ISA – an ISA version 2.0, if you like – as she recalls the suffering of the ISA detainees during Operation Lalang in 1987.

Charles Santiago follows with a stirring defence of the universally recognised right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in an independent court of law.

In our back cover story, Tommy Thomas argues that the Allah decision is wrong in constitutional law, as he says the decisions were poorly reasoned, the law misread and the conclusions baffling.

Greg Lopez wonders if Malaysia is moving away from the conscociational model, where elites of the various communties make decision behind closed doors. Malaysians, he writes, should realise that this model has broken down and all future challenges and solutions should come from the people working with one another.

Finally, Rakyat Jelata looks back at the “comedy of errors” during the recent Chogm summit in Sri Lanka.

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Joe Fernandez
Joe Fernandez

The issue, in my considered opinion, is not Allah but: (1) whether the Home Minister has any right in law and the Constitution to tell anyone what he or she should or should not call his or her God, (2) whether such a move can be linked with national security, (3) whether national security can be interpreted in an arbitrary manner, (4) what is “confusion” in law and (5) whether the Home Minister, if he so claims which he didn’t, can claim that he was acting within the prerogative and discretionary powers of Government and in a matter of High Policy. So, tell me, why is there a need to talk about Allah or the issue of Allah in Court or even whether the Sikhs, Arab Christians are using the term etc etc? The Court of Appeal was being disingenuous when it said that the Home Minister followed proper procedures in issuing the directives to the Herald and then went on to make a lot of improper comments on Christianity, Allah etc That’s not the issue to be addressed. I don’t know whether the Herald fell… Read more »