Friday, August 10, 2007

Are Malaysians blindly hypercritical?

In my previous posting Has government been incorrect in selecting candidate for judge's position? which discussed a malaysiakini news item titled Rulers reject PM’s choice for top judge, I wasn’t surprised to see my good mate kittykat46 making his usual no compromise comments against the government ;-)

I had cheekily, and also on principle, questioned Jeff Ooi’s remark in his blog on the same matter where he asked: “I wonder Parliamentary Democracy [is] still relevant and [in] existent in Malaysia? Is there a separation of power where the three pillars of parliamentary democracy, namely the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, are to operate independent of each other?”

“By allowing the PM, who is the head of the Executive, to nominate a member of the Bench as the third highest position in the Judiciary, will the nominated Judiciary officer be made beholden and subservient to the Executive?”

In other words, while I do share kittykat46’s distrust of our government, I disagree with Jeff’s thrust against the process where the PM (or the government of the day) nominates the candidate for the judiciary post. It’s the prerogative of the Executive in most Commonwealth countries and the USA, a process inherited from the British judicial system.

On theory such an executive right in appointing a judge to a senior position should not and usually would not jeopardize the separation of powers so dear in a democratic system. Certainly the government of the day would exploit the retirement or death of a senior judge* to nominate a member of the bench whom it reckons has either conservative or liberal views.

* of the High or Federal Court, depending on which country it is, as the term High and Federal have different status in different countries

In most cases, those judges, once confirmed in their appointments have an independent view of their own and are not that easy for the government to influence. Admittedly the Malaysian bench of recent years has lost much of our respect, though we are pleased to see a recent wee awakening.

The process is not incorrect; the material could be better!

And that’s what Jeff or the law fraternity should be looking at. Admittedly the damn difficulty is the whole affair is shrouded in secrecy where the public doesn’t even know who’s the candidate, and good lord, Malaysians hate surprises in such areas – for example, last year we witnessed a case where a 22 year old sweetie was appointed as a magistrate, when at that time she hadn’t even received her degree – see my post Yang Arif Muda. Now that's the sort of candidate we can certainly questioned.

Much as we detest the government (or rather, the ruling party) we need to be very careful not to be plain negative about everything and become unconstructive.

I am prepared to acknowledge that the government has done some good though more bad, and likewise with the DAP, which I admire for their courageous puritanical no-nonsense (and humourless - hahaha) approach but which sometimes annoyed me for their pedantic pettiness.

We cannot see Malaysian politics in just plain black and white, or we’ll end up as another form of what we have criticised as the ‘sokong’ brigade.

Let me provide an example of how we Malaysians have become hypercritical without discrimination.

OK, in today’s malaysiakini, I read of a Tamil school using a shoplot in Lukut, Negeri Sembilan as its official building for the last 15 days while awaiting for a land grant from the government. It goes on to say the location earn curious disbelieving glances from onlookers.


Have Malaysians seen schools in Hong Kong? Some over there don’t even enjoy a shoplot on its own, but are located on the umpteenth floor or floors of a multi storey building, sharing the same building with cinemas, whatever parlours and restaurants.

On the other hand, our Tamil school, with only 60 students from primary one to four, and six teachers, has four classrooms all fully air-conditioned, yes, fully air-conditioned. It uses a nearby field for assemblies and physical education classes, something which some HK schools don’t even have.

I would say it’s not too bad for the 60 students studying in air-conditioned comfort rather than be in a steamy mosquito-infested broken down shed on the edge of a rubber estate.

Sure, a typical standalone school building on a nice plot of land would be ideal but the Tamil school problem in many cases lies in the dwindling numbers of students. Its other problem is the lack of support from the MIC and Indian philanthropists, by comparison to the Chinese case.

Let’s not just condemn the situation for the sake of condemning. In many respect I dare say the students in the shoplot school may be better off than some other Tamil school students elsewhere.

It’s true we are fed up with the BN or more correctly UMNO-led government but at the same time we need to be more discriminating in our criticisms of the government, or even any particular political party.


  1. Now, that is true.

    Most of your fellow 'sociopolitical' blogger friends critisize everything said and done by the government just for the heck of it. And when I defend somethings, I am called a crony of sorts.

    I never really liked the political scene in this country - I do not like the way the government is doing a lot of things, but at the same time I detest a lot of things the opposition is doing as well.

    People talk about mainstream news being too pro-government. But doesn't anybody realise that 'alternative' news is controlled by the opposition?

    The thing with people like Jeff Ooi and all the other DAP bloggers - how can you be objective and impartial when you clearly have a personal motive?

    And this is what I get annoyed at. Malaysians critisize everything without knowing the full story or without thinking and understanding a lot of issues.

  2. The vast majority of Malaysians - I would say 90% + only get their news and opinions from the government controlled media.

    Some bloggers may go overboard, but its just a very small balance against the juggernaut of the mainstream media.

    By the way, until 2 weeks ago Jeff Ooi was a Gerakan member.

    I voted Barisan from all my life, from the time I turned 21 until and including 2004.

    If I sound angry, its the anger of a person who has realised he has been heavily lied to , trust betrayed.

  3. " It’s the prerogative of the Executive in most Commonwealth countries and the USA, a process inherited from the British judicial system."

    my dear friend KT,

    it's been a while, but i see that u r still in the habit of giving out STUPID LEGAL ADVICE again...
    (like u so proudly did just a month ago in Monday, July 09, 2007
    Politics behind Revathi Masoosai?


    The independent Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) selects candidates for judicial office. It does so on merit, through fair and open competition, from the widest range of eligible candidates.

    US Supreme Court

    Article II of the Constitution gives the President power to nominate justices, who are then appointed "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate." As a general rule, Presidents nominate individuals who broadly share their ideological views. In many cases, a Justice's decisions may be contrary to what the nominating President anticipated.

    now, i don't think u r going to apologise to me. i think u still have to grow for a few decades before u reach THAT kind of maturity.

    but for now, do us (your fans...) a big favour - do some research before you want to attack/inform, please??

    i'm sorry to b harsh - i do it bcos i love u, kt...

    "I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it."
    - Edith Sitwell

  4. If candidates for judicial office are appointed on merit, through fair and open competition, from the widest range of eligible candidates, then the Altantuya murder trial would had long been over with the perpetrators of the crime sentenced. And the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial would had ended on a very different note.

  5. Juslo

    I see you have your knickers all tied up in a knot again. You certainly haven’t learnt anything, have you ;-)

    I am glad you quoted my post, which I will now reproduce for your convenient reading:

    “...I disagree with Jeff’s thrust against the process where the PM (or the government of the day) nominates the candidate for the judiciary post. It’s the prerogative of the Executive in most Commonwealth countries and the USA, a process inherited from the British judicial system.”

    And that, no doubt much against your hope and now your disappointment, holds true.

    Yes, appointment of judges to the (federal in the case of USA) bench on the advice of the executive has been the *traditional* method in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – and as I said, inherited from the well-established British (or more pedantically, the English) judicial system.

    Indeed, as a typical example of “most Commonwealth countries” Australia continues to subscribe to that British system. Malaysia is of course another.

    In Britain itself, it was only last year, in April 2006, that it established the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). The JAC is responsible for selecting judges only in England and Wales.

    In a related preceding post ‘Has government been incorrect in selecting candidate for judge's position?’ – see - I had written:

    “In some Commonwealth countries, which haven’t brought Mother England’s judicial system wholesale, they introduced a Judicial Service Commission which sees the involvement of “representatives of the legal profession and of the judiciary to temper the judicial appointments of the politicians.” [quote also from Judge Michael Kirby]”

    Obviously Mother England has recently seen fit to adopt the practice of some of its erstwhile colonies – good on her, but the fact remains it has been only last year when this happened and therefore, considering the centuries old English legal system, the phrase “inherited from the British system” has not been out of place.

    The JAC takes over a responsibility that was previously in the hands of the Lord Chancellor though the Lord Chancellor retains responsibility for appointing the selected candidates.

    In other words, while the JAC can provide a list of recommended candidates it is still the Lord Chancellor (the PM’s appointee) who appoints the person.

    Some other countries like NZ and Australia are also looking at this but until that is accepted, Australia as an example continues to rely on the prerogative of the executive, namely the cabinet (but in effect the PM on advice from his ‘advisors’) to propose candidates to replace retiring or deceased judges. The sovereign’s approval is a only a formality, rightfully so in a constitutional monarchy, where the voice of the people (but not of the monarch) is expressed through their elected representatives.

    As for your reference to Wiki on the US Judicial system, please re-read it before you re-zip up, to avoid entangling you know what which sometimes has happened. The President continues to do what I posted as saying he could do, to nominate the candidate for the judiciary post.

    On a different issue, you seem obsessed with an apology from me for not agreeing with your Crusader views ;-)

    Juslo, apologies are given only for real (not imagined) wrong or hurt done, for example like a rude visitor to a blog shouting for the host, the blogger, to SHUT UP.

    ;-) but I suppose for you to call me STUPID is not (comparatively) that rude, since you’re of that bend – I forgive you for your frequent emotional outbursts so you don’t have to apologise for your lack of courtesy, again – but your parents would be terribly disappointed.

    Like you love me, I love you to bits too, so my dearest tambi, do take aneh’s advice for what they are, constructive advice.

  6. hey kk46, thanks for your well wishes (in another post) - am ok now ;-) and ready once again to criticise you know who again - have bene going easy on him for a while hahaha

  7. KT aneh,

    1. if u KNEW about the new british system of selecting judges, u SHOULD HAVE QUALIFIED your rant against jeff in these 2 posts by pointing them out, shouldn't u??

    the FACT is, u DID NOT KNOW. yet u dished out 'legal advice'/attacks BASED ON YOUR IGNORANCE.

    admit it. just bcos u r aneh doesnt mean u can talk trash without having to face up to your mistakes. (stupid or not, it was still a MISTAKE. while i don't think u would ever own up to your stupidity, at least own up to your mistake n ignorance, ok aneh?? u don't need ME to teach u that, right aneh??)

    2. USA - yes, the president NOMINATES, BUT he needs to get the approval of the senate, moron.

    bush last year withdrew a female nomination bcos the senate (including republican senators) were against her.

    3. both of the 2 points above UNDERMINED your argument that jeff ooi & co should not unduly complain about the 'executive appointment' of judges.

    the above shows that the 'system inherited from mother england' IS OUT OF DATE, N BEING REJECTED. that being the case, YOUR criticisms of jeff BUILT ON UTTER IGNORANCE of 'british, commonwealth n even usa systems', should b REJECTED.

    about your stupid legal advice on lina joy/revathi, HERE'S ANOTHER case proving that apostates CANNOT GO to syariah courts - this time, 3 months lockup for 'rehab'.

    now, do u STILL maintain your legal advice to the little piglets to 'try out the butchery first'????? or should we wait for ANOTHER proof, n ANOTHER 1, n ANOTHER....?!???!!!

    HOW MANY do u need, aneh KT?!?!

    u have the audacity to criticise others but NO moral courage to accept that u were WRONG/MISTAKEN/IGNORANT.

    b a GROWN UP - try, at least, ok??
    11/08: Rehabilitation for convert who wants to leave Islam
    The Straits Times

    A MALAYSIAN Chinese woman who converted to Islam in 1998 but now wants to leave the faith was yesterday told to go for religious rehabilitation first.

    Penang's Syariah High Court ordered Ms Siti Fatimah Tan Abdullah, 38, to undergo guidance and counselling for three months at a unit of the Penang Religious Affairs Department (Jaip) before it decides whether she can leave the religion.

    Judge Othman Ibrahim will rule on her application to declare herself a non-Muslim on Dec 3 this year.

    Her counsel, Mr Ahmad Jailani Abdul Ghani, told reporters that yesterday's decision was 'to appease everybody'.

    Ms Siti Fatimah, who was born Tan Ean Huang and initially practised Buddhism, applied to leave Islam on July 10 last year. She has also applied to change the religious status in her identity card from Muslim to Buddhist.

  8. Juslo, I have been been very patient with you, but I see you have been badly brought up, unable to control your temper in discussions, 1st (in a previous blog) telling me THE BLOGGER to shut up in my own blog when you didn't like my views opposite to yours, and now, here, calling me a 'moron' when you can't win a decent debate.

    You are an intolerant person, and I don't find you a pleasant person nor one suitable for civil dialogue or debate.

    I am not going to delete your post, to enable people to see your temperament (did I rant against Jeff? hahaha).

    The problem is your intolerant Christian crusading obsession, wanting to bash poeple who don't agree with your views about Lina Joy. Sorry I can't entertain you nor wish to join you as an Islamophobe.

    But you are NOT WELCOME any more to my blog for the reason of your rude uncouth insults. I was quite willing to accept you again since the previous episode of rudeness, but no, not anymore.

    Do the decent thing and please don't come into my 'house' anymore.

  9. 'Do the decent thing and please don't come into my 'house' anymore.'

    is that the only way u know how to AVOID facing up to your mistakes n cover your shame?

    after your long rant, u still haven't answered my criticisms. calling me names [ad hominem - YOU obviously haven't learned YOUR lessons] doesn't exempt u from TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for what U have said - like a MAN should.

    no, i'm not coming to your 'house'. last time i checked, doesnt charge u anything everytime I make a comment here.

    as a decent human being, i think i have the responsibility to CORRECT n EXPOSE misguided CHARLATANS like u when u go around broadcasting your deliberate ignorance disguised as 'considered wisdoms' -- whether u like it or not.

    what makes u think i'm a 'crusader' or 'christian'? attacking the messenger again, very mature, kt.

    i'm prepared to say 'FUCK JESUS THE FALSE GOD' if u want me to 'prove' that i'm not a christian, but i respect christianity too much to say that - EVEN THOUGH I DON'T BELIEVE IN JESUS OR MARY OR THE BIBLE as truth.

    satisfied, KT??

    NOW, HAVING GOTTEN MY 'IDENTITY HANDICAP' OUT OF THE WAY, can u talk like a MAN n apologise for having insulted the christians n the 'crusaders' n all those decent HUMAN BEINGS who just want to stand up for human rights n liberty?

    i don't think so.

  10. juslo & ktemoc : how about a duel ? choose your weapons, and may the best man win. At least we may be rid of one of you.

  11. awwwwwwwwww, equaliser, didn't realise you don't need/like me, sob how sad ;-)

  12. equaliser,

    y u didn't like me, huh? i was telling the truth n logic, wut?

    i wouldn't want KT to go - i love him, as i've said. plus, if he's gone, there's no more stupid, loud sayings for me to attack on.

    then u readers wouldn't have any fun reading blogs, right??