Archive for the ‘Letter to Editor’ Category


LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Sarawak judge Yew Jen Kie’s 7-11 ruling allegedly misinterpreted the Sabah Constitution, denied the role of the state assembly, interfered in its prerogative and discretionary powers, and allowed frogs with statutory declarations (SDs) to decide on formation of government together with the Governor.

That’s the consensus in the court of public opinion.

If SDs can be considered, the judge failed to note that a reasonable time did not elapse between May 10 and May 12 when the frogs claimed to have lost confidence in Musa Aman.

The court should have said it won’t be party to an “illegality” and/or what reeked of “fraudulent” practices.

The SDs, she should have said, were tainted with all the elements of a conspiracy to overthrow a democratically-elected and lawfully established gov’t.

The courts generally look at whether it would be safe or otherwise to accept certain positions advocated by the parties in conflict.

In the case of the SDs by the frogs, it was certainly not safe for the court to accept them.

The Governor also should not have accepted them. Instead, he should have advised them to make their case at the state assembly, the right forum.

Rule BY Law is not Rule OF Law.

Rule OF Law basis of the Constitution.

The judge from Sarawak will be subject to scrutiny in the superior courts for the 7-11 ruling.

The Sabah Constitution must be upheld.

The judiciary should not interfere in the legislature.

The Governor should stay above the fray.

If the Governor had pointed the frogs after May 10 in the direction of the state assembly, there would be no 7-11. It’s besides the point that the state assembly was not in session.

The Governor can decide, in the wake of 7-11, whether to entertain frogs armed with SDs.

In future, he can be counted on to close the istana gates, and point the SD frogs in the direction of the state assembly.

7-11 is the last time the frogs can play their SD trick.

Rule of Law, basis of the Constitution, would be upheld.

If another group of frogs turn up tomorrow at the istana, armed with SDs, they won’t be entertained despite the 7-11 ruling.

The Governor will say, “I have discretionary powers mah!”

So, the 7-11 ruling is useless.

The SD Frogs would have to go to court to force the Governor to accept their self-serving and fraudulent claims. The superior courts would have to plug this loophole and restore the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution.

Daniel John Jambun

Human Rights Advocate

Tel: 010 878 6993

President

Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

Sun 11 Nov 2018

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo-Malaysia


LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A High Court of Borneo ruling on Nov 7, on lawful Chief Minister, does not sit well with the people, in the court of public opinion.

Where two sides are equally matched, and end up with almost the same number of elected seats, with a third party holding some seats, it seems a handful of “frogs” (buhangkut) from one of the two major sides could decide who forms the gov’t.

It appears okay not to be gentlemen, not to subscribe to conventions based on civilised norms viz. honourable conduct, decency, good behaviour, and pride as lawmakers.

It cannot be the intention of voters to diminish the role of the state assembly, enhance the role of the Governor and allow frogs to dictate the formation of gov’t.

Gov’t, democratically elected and lawfully sworn in, must be allowed to prevail even if it means being reduced to minority gov’t status for a while.

The state assembly will find resolution when gov’t Bills are presented.

Judge Yew Jen Kie, in one fell swoop on Wed 7 Nov, brought the unelected Sabah head of state into the picture and “overturned” the Doctrine of Separation of Powers.

She virtually “emasculated” the state assembly, the right forum to decide on the fate of the head of gov’t. Obviously, she does not see that as interfering in the role of the state assembly, its prerogative and discretionary powers, and its proceedings.

She decided the Chief Minister’s fate could be decided by the Governor on a “subjective” basis, acting in concert with a handful of frogs, who she even implied were a despicable lot.

I have been saying there’s no such thing as motion of confidence or no confidence.

Having said that, gov’t Bills can be the test of confidence or otherwise.

The judge is wrong in implying that Statutory Declarations (SD) can also be the test of confidence or no confidence. This is a recipe for continued political instability.

In that case, Musa Aman should get SDs from 12 frogs and with his 19 Adun, see the Governor.

If the Governor’s intervention was not accepted, the court will come in to seal the Chief Minister’s fate and deliver the coup de grace at the High Court, and for good measure at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court. So, he gets clobbered three times to bury him for good.

So much for rule of law, the basis of the Constitution!

The absence of any comment from the court on why Nov 7 happened and how it could have been avoided compounds the mystery.

If the Governor had advised the frogs on May 12 to go to the state assembly for a resolution beyond dispute, 7-11 would not have happened. Instead, it was okay with the judge to “put the cart before the horse”.

Strangely, the court referred to the six defections which took place within hours of the Barisan Nasional (BN)-Star coalition gov’t being formed on May 10. It should have put on blinkers.

Having touched on frogging, the court never wondered why such defections should take place from the gov’t to the Opposition.

Anyone in his right mind would not defect from the gov’t to the Opposition.

The court can’t be party to an “illegality” i.e. defections after expressing disapproval of the practice.

The judge’s comment that the court cannot do anything about frogging and leaves the matter to Parliament opens Pandora’s box.

The Sabah Constitution cannot be about rewarding frogs. Hence, the criteria on who can be Chief Minister, unique for a Constitution.

By simplistic recognition of an unregistered coalition of parties, where no one meets the criteria to be Chief Minister, the court is not discouraging frogging.

The Doctrine of Separation of Powers holds that the legislature, executive and legislature are the three and equal branches of gov’t.

Each acts as part of the checks and balances, staying clear of interfering in the prerogative and discretionary powers of the others, not interfering in their proceedings.

Daniel John Jambun

Human Rights Advocate

Tel: 010 878 6993

President

Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

Thurs 8 Nov 2018

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo-Malaysia


LETTER TO THE EDITOR

The situation in Labuan continues to be one that is embarrassing. For a second time in a row, we have yet another MP who has been declared a bankrupt.

The local Municipal Council falls under the current MP. Labuan Corporation is also under the management of the current MP. In fact, the vast majority of important decisions relating to the island fall under the preview of the MP. Yet he is now in court and has been declared a bankrupt.

How on earth does he have time to manage his constituency, manage all the relevant departments under him, attend to the needs of the business community and the people of Labuan and also have time to attend to his court case and remain sane enough to play politics?

The fact remains there is and has not been any leadership in Labuan for a decade. Some even dread the thoughts of predecessor Suhaili returning to the fold.

It is absolute madness – Labuan folks seem to keep ending up with politicians who are neither capable nor mature enough to be able to manage the island and their own personal finances without some controversy.

Even the first MP (before Suhaili), Abdul Mulok, had a court case for Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) involving several million ringgit.

Nobody seems to know who to talk to when dealing with issues relating to work passes for foreign workers, given Labuan has a ban on it which has yet to be lifted till now and business are struggling to hire local staff and workers as the demand for local workers is too great.

Why is Labuan the only constituency in Malaysia that cannot bring in foreign labour or workers?

There has yet to be a solution to the Hotel Labuan eyesore which everyone has to put up with on a daily basis. Once an iconic building, it is a source of embarrassment and a daily reminder of the way things are in Labuan. A lot of talk, no action.

The Labuan market project, new bus terminal, a number of major road projects on the island which remain unfinished, not to mention the parking problems in the town center and lack of care as far as improving the infrastructure of the town center remain unresolved because there doesn’t appear to be any interest or money available to finish these projects.

Why does the Federal Government keep getting it so wrong with the people it selects to represent the party every single time?

This time around if Ibrahim Manudeen a Labuan born accountant who was Sabah State Treasury Boss at one time, CEO of Malaysian Mining Corporation at one time, is to contest under Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR, for sure Barisan National with its terrible track record is finish for good in the island of Labuan.

Anak Labuan


Sabah Courts Director, Ismail Ibrahim, said the department is not experiencing any problem in refunding bail money deposited with the courts.

He said if procedures were followed, the money could be refunded to the bailor within three weeks after documentation verification.

“There are standard procedures to be followed and once the necessary documents are verified, the claim would be forwarded to the National Accounts Department.

The department will process the payments,” he said, in a statement.

He said following a letter published, “In reference to Another court scandal in Kota Kinabalu Posted: July 8, 2012 in this blog,” in which one “Concerned Bailor” complaining that his bail money refund was delayed.

The concerned bailor had deposited RM1500 to bail a friend charged with an offence under section 15 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

The bailor said that upon checking, a counter clerk revealed that there was a problem in refunding the sum after a few court staff were found to have used up the bail money with the intention of returning it later.

The bailor was told that one of the staff involved was directed to refund the sum in installments and transferred to the court’s Library as punishment.

Concerned Bailor was also told that the money could only be returned in three months.

“I am, in fact puzzled why no police or MACC report has been lodged by the court administration as the embezzlement involved thousands of Ringgit in Public money.

It is a duty of the Head of Department to report the matter to the police or MACC.

It is a serious offence committed by the staff concerned if what the counter clerk said was true,” Concerned Bailor was quoted as saying.

(This story has come out today in Daily Express Sabah)


Letter To The Editor

Dear Sir,

It really puzzles me over the delay in some cases to refund the bail sums to persons who stood as bailor for accused persons who have committed a criminal offence.

Last week, I was at the Counter of the Magistrate’s court Registry in Kota Kinabalu to enquire about the refund of the bail sum whom I stood in as a bailor for one of my friends who had committed an offence under Section 15 of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Much to my surprise, the counter clerk, after checking the file, informed me that the bail sum had already been cancelled and refunded back to the 1st Bailor.

I then informed the counter clerk that I have not received the bail sum of RM1,500 and made further enquires.

To my surprise, the clerk quietly called me outside and said that there is a problem with the bail sums to be refunded as few court staff were involved in cancelling bail and have embezzled the money for themselves.

The counter clerk informed me that a substantial sum was involved and currently the clerk who is responsible for the cancellation of bail sum has been quietly transferred to a different unit.

The counter clerk also informed me that the staff concerned is now paying back the sum taken in installments and I will only be able to get my refund in 3 months time.

I then said that I wanted to see the Registrar but the clerk urged me not to report to anyone or prolong the issue as it will be eventually settled internally.

I enquired whether any police report or MACC report was lodged and to my very surprise, the clerk said no report was lodged as the matter was being settled by the Court Administration.

My question is: If the bail sum is cancelled, the money must be returned to the bailor and cannot be used for the personal interest or gain of the court staff. This is wrong.

I am, in fact, disturbed why no police report or MACC report had been lodged by the Court Administration as the embezzlement involved thousands of Ringgit of public money.

It seems that there is one scandal after another involving court staff in Sabah after the infamous falsification of Late Registration of Birth Certificates which was exposed some time back. It was even reported in the mainstream papers that two court clerks were suspected to be directly involved in hijacking the files of applicants for Late Registration Of Birth Certificates and forging the signatures of the magistrates before submitting them to the National Registration Department to facilitate the issuance of Birth Certificates and Identity Cards. All these are so worrying and I’m losing hope in our system.

Anyway, in my opinion, the embezzlement of public funds by civil servants should not be swept under the carpet. This is mad and cannot be tolerated!

It is a duty of the Head of Department to report the matter to the police or MACC. It is a serious offence committed by the staff concerned if what the counter clerk said to me was true. The same goes to the department heads who covered up the wrong doing of their staff, if true.

Thank you

Adichan Pudichan


Letter To The Editor

 

Dear Sir,

Not a day goes by without the newspapers in Sabah carrying pictures of grinning lawyers standing next to their Clients.

This is a scam by lawyers who “lose” 90 per cent of their cases except where they are photographed grinning ear to ear outside the courthouse with their Clients.

The purpose of the picture in the newspapers scam — the photographer/reporter concerned usually gets at least RM 200 from the lawyer concerned — is to attract even more Clients.

The real story is that Clients who don’t appear in the newspapers with their lawyers invariably “lose” their cases.

This is because the lawyer will do a deal with the other side and do a number on the Client who will eventually be sacrificed after being fleeced over many years.

The truth is stranger than the fiction.

Ninety per cent of civil litigation case don’t go into Court — in most cases because the lawyers do a number on Clients after taking money — or for Trial.

Clients must not rush to see a lawyer the moment that they have a civil litigation problem.

A lawyer is the LAST person they need to see.

It’s better for Clients to file their own cases in Court after drafting them with the help of someone who knows how to make submissions. Such help need not be a lawyer but someone who knows how to draft very well and can therefore make out a compelling case.

Most lawyers have very poor language and drafting skills and rely on oral submissions or cross examination in Court. They can’t even draft a simple letter in English or Malay.

Clients need a lawyer only to appear in Court after a Trial date is secured and to make oral representations for an out-of-court settlement or to take the matter to Mediation Court or failing both approaches, prepare for Trial. Here, lawyers are needed for citations re the law and authorities.

Lawyers will generally claim that they have to do a lot of legal research but this is just bullshit to fleece Clients. Legal research is available online at the touch of a button.

Lawyers are not allowed to be present in Mediation.

Contrary to popular belief, Courts don’t determine the direction of a civil litigation case or its outcome but they can help by way of Order for Directions.

Under our adversial system in Court, the parties to a conflict determine the direction of a case and also determine the outcome by the manner in which they draft and file submissions.

The Court merely draws the outcome of a case from the submissions of the parties in conflict.

Besides Mediation Court, lawyers are not allowed to be present at the various Tribunals which sometimes are held at the courthouse. These include Land Office, Immigration, JPN, Customs, Income Tax, Labour, Industrial Relations, Housing, Consumer, Small Claims, Marriage, Arbitration (lawyers allowed with permission but not necessary) etc etc

Get hold of a copy of the High Court and subordinate court rules for reference and study them.

Thank you

Adichan Pudichan