Habeas corpus made meaningless!

Aliran is deeply disillusioned with the judiciary. Instead of depending on technicalities and loopholes in the law, it should focus on fairness and justice.

It should be prominently and predominantly concerned with freedom and human rights of the citizens. When the freedom of individuals is deprived by dubious means, the judiciary should be uncompromising in defending that freedom.

Dr Jeyakumar and his five companions have been incarcerated since 2 July 2011. Nobody believes the accusations levelled against them. The whole exercise has turned into farcical nonsense.

They were initially accused of “waging war against the King”. But that accusation has been dropped now. What does this suggest with regard to the integrity of the police? It only means that they cooked up an excuse to detain them.

Then they were accused of reviving communism in this country. Images of past communists leaders printed on T-shirts in their possession do not support this theory. It is now no longer the contentious issue. What does this prove? The police are grasping at straws in desperation to justify their action. But it won’t do them any good.

Then the six were detained under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 under the false pretence that they were a threat to public security. These six citizens are no goons or gangsters to pose any such threat. Nevertheless, they are accused of being a threat to national security. What does it prove? It only means that any flimsy grounds would suffice to detain any individual under this anti-democratic and draconic law, which blatantly denies a person his natural justice, including the right to defend himself or herself. But it won’t win support for the police.

Ridiculously, the six are now projected as the prime movers of Bersih 2.0, when the entire country is aware that it is the coalition of 62 NGOs headed by Dato’ Dr. Ambiga Sreenevasan that was the sole mover of Bersih 2.0. These six are members of a political party and therefore had no role to play in Bersih 2.0, which excluded political parties from the Steering Committee of Bersih 2.0. What does it prove? It means that there is no respect for truth and the rule of law. But it is not going to help the police to shore up support for the Barisan Nasional.

It is under these circumstances that an application was made for a habeas corpus hearing to question the conduct of the police in detaining these six PSM members. After much haggling, 22 July was fixed for hearing. But now this hearing has been postponed to 5 August.

Any application under habeas corpus should – and must – deserve priority to ensure that it is heard almost immediately. There is an urgency that cannot be ignored. There is the question of justice that has to be addressed at the earliest possible time without any undue delay. This urgency is no longer there.

Whatever the reason for justifying this frustrating postponement, it will not look good for the judiciary. Its battered image – from previous absurd judicial pronouncements that had discredited the judiciary – will suffer a further ignominious blow. It appears that there is no saving grace for the judiciary!

P Ramakrishnan
22 July 2011

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Samuel Goh Kim Eng
24 Jul 2011 12.41pm


When there are vested interests at stake
Some poor souls are still tied to their stakes
Fortunately without loved ones to forsake
There’s hope that all chains will break

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Sun.24th Jul.2011.

23 Jul 2011 2.59pm

” . . . the fact that the CJ was a former legal adviser of Umno is proof of that. . . . ”

A law could be mooted for ALL members of judiciary to not be part of any political party to qualify as a judge to prevent ‘Conflict of Interest’. Bar council interested to push this agenda? Or all too self serving again?

najib manaukau
23 Jul 2011 8.19am

It is so clear that the judiciary is really a part of Umno in disguise, the fact that the CJ was a former legal adviser of Umno is proof of that. You don’t need any further evidence to proof that the judiciary is part of Umno. Just take the verdict of the mongolian woman who was C4-ed when the two scapegoats personal protection police officers of the P.M. were allowed by the court to attend their trials blind folded. That must be the first in the world. One question remain unanswered is why would those two police officers c4-ed the mongolian woman they don’t even know to begin with ? As expected they were convicted of the murder (on behalf of the real murderers and also to enable the case to be closed expeditiously?), rightly or wrongly ? That no doubt has to be the biggest legal joke there is ! Also their identities and their subsequent whereabout will never be known. You can say for sure they can be anywhere in the world just like Rajak Baginda who now lives in London in comfort with… Read more »

telur dua
22 Jul 2011 11.05pm

Kangaroos can be a menace if their populaton is not controlled by periodic cullings. In Australia many of them get run over by traffic. To protect their vehicles the Aussies fix ‘kangaroo’ bars. Better the kangaroo than their car/truck.

Somehow some of these pesky marsupials managed to find their way to Borehland … Maybe they swam the Pacific Ocean. I never knew kangaroos can swim.

Here they lead a charmed life… Can’t say the same about their cousins back home, being culled and get run over.