It is About Sharing

Knowledge is for sharing. Do not keep your knowledge to yourself alone. Let it grows. The more you share, the more you learn and in the end you become a better person.

Surah Yaasin Amazing Recitation

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Al-Fatihah

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Corruption

Nowadays, issue on corruption becomes one of the hottest topics of discussion. From the Khalid Ibrahim’s cows and car issues to the money politics in UMNO that led to Ali Rustam being barred from contesting the UMNO’s No. 2 post (which by convention will make the incumbent the Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister).

In my discussion here, I am going to talk about the corruption in general perspective without pointing to any particular individual.

In Islam, corruption is illegal (haram) as the Prophet Muhammad pbuh said in his hadith, “arraasyi walmurtasyi finnar” which means “the person who gave bribe and the person who received it, both will be in the hell”.

In Malaysia, though we do not apply Islamic law, corruption is also an offence and punishable under the relevant laws. In fact, I believe that corruption is an offence everywhere. I also believe that corruption is very dangerous in the sense that it can cause a nation’s fall down.

We may have the relevant laws to counter corruption but it may not solve the problem because we do not find its root cause. The law is there to punish the offenders but it does not necessarily stop others from committing the same offence. I do not need to prove my point, as this fact is a judicial notice (known to the public without the need to prove it in court). We do hear people say “prevention is better than cure” but what do we need to do to prevent corruption instead of curing it though punishment? The answer is simple as we need to recognize the root cause of the problem.

What is/are then the root cause of corruption? Musa Hassan (the IGP) felt that low salary was the cause of corruption in police force as it was reported that Musa Hassan has called on the government to pay his officers properly saying it would help tackle the problem of corruption in theforce.

With due respect I do not agree with him. I’ll discuss at the later part of this posting.

We also do hear that education starts at home. I do agree that education starts at home but there are good education and bad education. Corruption starts at home. Just to give a quick understanding of what I meant by “corruption starts at home”, corruption, in my own understanding is a practice of giving unnecessary reward or unnecessary additional reward to someone for doing something, which is his/her responsibility to do it. When I have the responsibility to do something, no matter what, I have to do it because it is my responsibility. However, when someone starts to pay me to do what is already my responsibility, there is a strong tendency that I will be asking for money before I perform my responsibility and that is corruption. So, corruption is a bad education.

Parents nowadays give money to their children to fast, to pray, to study and a lot more things that has become the duty of the children. Some parents said that the money is to encourage and to instill interest in their children to pray, fast, etc and it is sort of incentive. It may sound logic and workable but then again, “the end does not justify the means”. At the end of the day, we will have children who pray, fast, etc for material reward and not because they feel that it is their duty to do so. The same thing goes to helping parents with the house chores. Parents should not pay their children to do the house chores. Make it upon them (the children) that it is their responsibility to help their parents with the house chores. The same thing goes to academic achievements. It has become a trend nowadays for parents to promise this and that to their children if they achieve the target set by their parents in the examination. In the end, they study because of the promise made by the parent and not because they feel that it is their responsibility to study and excel in their examination. It has come to the stage whereby a friend of mine told me that his eldest son asked him beginning of the year of what would he (the father) give to him (the son) as a present if he manage to be the top student in his class?

So, if children have been taught at home that it is nothing wrong for them to demand for reward to do something that is obliged upon them to do, what make you think that they will feel that it is wrong for them to ask for money before they do their job when they enter working era?

Now, the reason why I do not agree with Musa Hassan on his view how to fight corruption in the police force is because it is the nature of human being that what they get will never be enough (in general) for them. Low salary is not the factor to corruption. You may have someone earning 5 figures salary but still practice corruption because what they get is never enough for them. You may earn low salary but if you can live within your means, then your salary should be enough. So, salary is not the factor here. It depends very much on the person’s upbringing at home.

And we always hear parents said that “children nowadays…” when in actual fact, the phrase should be “parents nowadays…” Can we say, “parents nowadays teach their children to be materialistic” than “children nowadays are materialistic”?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Note of Thanks

This blog was first created on 16th February 2008 with the first posting was Election Was Just Around the Corner. Which means, my blog is already 1 year old.
I started my blog without any proper plan. I was reading my niece's blog when suddenly I felt like I wanted to have my own blog. So, I simply created my blog and decided to write on any topic that interests me.
At first, I was wondering whether there would be readers to my blog. I mean what is the point of having a blog if nobody reads it except the owner. Whether what i write is enough to invite people to leave their comment? A lot of thing were in my mind. But I decided to give myself a year period and thereafter to decide whether or not this blog should be continued.
And after slightly more than a year now, my blog has been visited at least 4021 times (because I started the hit counter on 7th April 2008), which means in average, my blog was visited 12 times a day. I take that as an unexpected achievement and for that I am grateful to Allah. I just want to convey and share what I have in mind with others. And I sincerely hope that some of my readers (if not all) have benefited from reading my blog.
And for that, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all visitors to my blog for all the support that I received this far. I hope to receive continous support from you guys. So, do continue to drop by at my blog and your comment/suggestion is most welcomed.
Thank you very very much.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Perak Power Struggle - The Datuk Amir Kahar's Case Revisited

In a turning of event in Perak, the Speaker has called for an emergency sitting, which 3 motions were passed: -

(a) motion of confidence on Nizar as the legal Perak MB;
(b) agreement to seek Royal consent for dissolution of state assembly; and
(c) the adoption of the suspension of MB Zambry Abdul Kadir and his Excos by the Rights and Privileges Committee.

Before we discuss further and to get a better overview of the matter, let us have a look at the media statement issued the office of the Sultan of Perak, which is reproduced below:

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was granted an audience by Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan on Feb 4, to ask for his Royal Highness’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly.

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, also requested for an audience with his Royal Highness in his capacity as the Perak Barisan Nasional chairman and consent was granted to be present before his Royal Highness on Feb 5.

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib informed that the Barisan Nasional and its supporters, now comprising 31 state assemblymen, had the majority in the State Assembly.

On the order of the Duli Yang Maha Mulia to ascertain that the information given was accurate, all the 31 state assemblyman were to present themselves before Paduka Seri Sultan.

After meeting all the 31 assemblymen, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak was convinced that YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members.

DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak had also considered thoroughly YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s application on Feb 4, 2009 for his Royal Highness’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly.

His Royal Highness had used his discretion under Article XVIII (2)(b) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution and did not consent to the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly.

YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was summoned to an audience with the Sultan to be informed of his Royal Highness’s decision not to dissolve the State Assembly, and in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI(6) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak ordered YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the members of the state executive council with immediate effect.

If YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin does not resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the state executive council members, then the posts of Mentri Besar and state executive councillors are regarded as vacant.

This statement is issued with the consent of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan.

From the above statement issued by the Palace, it is crystally clear to us of what happened that led to the Barisan Nasional (BN) to take over the Perak State Government from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

Despite the above statement, many people especially the PR supporters cannot accept the Sultan of Perak’s decision to use his discretion confereed upon him under the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution (Perak Constitution). It is a judicial notice as to how those unhappy with the Sultan’s decision expressed their unhappiness. I am not going to discuss on that issue here.

Consequent to the Sultan of Perak’s decision to pass the state administration to BN, there have been legal tussle between BN and PR with the issue on the legality of the appointment of the BN Menteri Besar is pending in Court, the suspension order issued by Perak Speaker is under investigation and the legality of the emergency sitting called by the Perak speaker is being challenged. I shall leave those issues out of my discussion here and let the relevant authorities deal with it.

What is the legal status of the discretionary power exercised by the Sultan of Perak, as mentioned above, as conferred by Article 18 (2) (b) of the Perak Constitution? Before I answer the question, I would like to draw your attention to the provisions of Article 16 (6) and Article 18 (2) (b) of the Perak Constitution.

Artcile 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution states as follows: -

If the Menteri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then, unless at his request, His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council

Article 18 (2) of the Perak Constitution states as follows: -

His Royal Highness may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions…

(a) the appointment of the Menteri Besar; and

(b) the withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Legislative Assembly


Now, to answer the question I posed above, I would like to revisit the case of Datuk (Datu) Amir Kahar Tun Datu Mustapha –v- Tun Mohd Said Keruak & Ors [1195] 1 CLJ 184. The fact of the case is briefly as follows: -

In February 1994, there was a state election in Sabah offering 48 seats. At the end of the election, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan defeated Barisan Nasional (BN), led by Sakaran Dandai by 25 to 23 seats. Accordingly, Pairin Kitingan was appointed as the Chief Minister of Sabah. However, in March the same year, 3 of PBS Assemblymen defected to BN, thus causing BN to have better majority to that of PBS. As a result of the defection, Pairin Kitingan decided to tender his resignation as the Chief Minister. Immediately after Pairin Kitingan tendered his resignation, the Governor of Sabah appointed Sakaran Dandai as the Chief Minister. Subsequent to Sakaran’s appointment as the Chief Minister, 7 new Ministers were duly appointed to be in Sakaran’s cabinet. The issue in this case was pertaining to the legal status of the Ministers under the leadership of Pairin Kitingan as well as the validity of the appointment of 7 cabinet members under Sakaran Dandai.

What happened was, upon the defection of his 3 Assemblymen to BN, Pairin had sought the consent of the Governor to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly. This was made in line with Article 7(1) of the Sabah State Constitution, which has the same effect as in Article 16 (6) of Perak Constitution. The Governor however, withheld the request made by Pairin Kitingan pursuant to Article 10(2) which is nonjusticiable (can’t be challenged in Court), which has similar effect to Article 18 (2) (b) of the Perak Constitution.

Subsequent to that, the Governor received a petition signed by 30 people said to be the member of the State Legislative Assembly to show support for the BN and no confidence in Piairin Kitingan. Based on what happened, the Governor decided to appoint Sakaran Dandai as the new Chief Minister. As to what happened in Perak, as we can see from the media statement above, 31 State Assemblymen had an audience with the Sultan of Perak to show their support in BN, which automatically means that Nizar had ceased to have confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly. Accordingly, a new MB from BN (Zambry) was appointed by the Sultan upon the power conferred to him pursuant to Article 18 (2) (a) of the Perak Constitution.

The point raised by the Plaintiff was that the resignation of Pairin Kitingan was personal to him and it does not affect the legality of the appointment made on the cabinet members of Pairin Kitingan. This is because there has been no concrete evidence that Pairin Kitingan has ceased to have confidence of the majority of the members of the State Legislative Assembly (as the Plaintiff deemed the petition signed by 30 Assemblymen is not acceptable in law to show the non-confidence in Pairin). The only distinguishing factor between the case in Perak and Sabah is that in Sabah, upon realizing that he has ceased to have the confidence of the majority and that his request for the dissolution was withheld by the Governor, Pairin tendered his resignation while in Perak, though Nizar realized that he has lost the confidence of the majority and that his request for dissolution was withheld by the Sultan, Nizar did not tender his resignation.

However, the Court, after considering the relevant facts and authorities presented before it by counsels of both parties, concluded as follows: -

On the issue of whether the petition signed by 30 Assemblymen is a sufficient proof to show that Pairin Kitingan has lost confidence of the majority, the Court held that the evidence to establish that a Chief Minister ceases to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the Assembly…need not necessarily be dependent upon the actual motion to be tabled in the State Legislative Assembly. It may be available from sources outside the Legislative Assembly depending on circumstances of each case. In other words, the Judge was of the opinion that the petition signed by 30 Assemblymen is a sufficient proof that Pairin Kitingan had no longer has majority confidence and that it did not necessarily to have proper vote of no-confidence through a proper sitting.

On the issue of whether Pairin Kitingan’s resignation affect the position of his cabinet members, the Court was of the view that the resignation of Pairin Kitingan as the Chief Minister was a resignation pursuant to him ceasing to command a confidence. As a result, upon his resignation being accepted, the his Cabinet was dissolved and with it goes the appointments of the other members of that Cabinet. Consequently, the appointments of Pairin Kitingan’s cabinet members made on 21 February 1994 would not any longer subsist in law.

So, based on the case of Datuk Amir Kahar, it is crystal clear upon us that the Sultan of Perak was right in withholding Nizar’s request to dissolve the Legislative Assembly. However, the issue of whether the Sultan has the power to ask Nizar to resign was not decided in Datuk Amir Kahar’s case, as it was not an issue in that case.

In my opinion, Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution is very clear that if the MB ceases to command the confidence of the majority, he will need to tender his resignation (in view that his request for dissolution was not granted by the Sultan).

It is my opinion also that since Article 18 (2) (a) of the Perak Constitution empower the Sultan to appoint the Menteri Besar, he should have the power to retract his appointment, though it is not clearly stated under the same Article.

So, when the MB (Nizar) refused to tender his resignation, in my opinion, the Sultan of Perak was right is asking Nizar to tender his resignation and to appoint the new Menteri Besar, as provided under Article 18 (2) (a) of the Perak Constitution read together with Article 16 (6) of the same Constitution. In that sense, the Sultan of Perak did not have to wait for Nizar to tender his resignation. By the Sultan requesting Nizar to resign and by him appointing Zambry as the new MB, indirectly, it can be said that the Sultan has revoked the appointment of Nizar as the MB.

What then happened to the Executive Councils under Nizar’s administration? As clearly pointed out in Datuk Amir Kahar’s case, with the revocation of the appointment of Nizar as the MB, those Executive Councils under Nizar’s administration have to leave the office simultaneously.

In a nutshell, with the appointment of Zambry as the new MB, Nizar has ceased to become the MB of Perak and the same goes to his Exco members.

Notwithstanding the above, the Perak Legislative Assembly has passed 3 resolutions during their “under the tree emergency sitting” yesterday. The first 2 motions were on the show of confidence of majority towards Nizar and the second was the agreement of the majority to have the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly to give way for fresh election.

With my discussion above, the show of confidence by the majority towards Nizar does not hold water. However, assuming that Nizar is still the legal MB of Perak (and assuming that the appointment of Zambry was illegal), Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution clearly stated the pre-condition that must be fulfilled by Nizar as the MB before he can request to the Sultan of Perak for the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly and the pre-condition is THE MB CEASES TO COMMAND THE CONFIDENCE OF THE MAJORITY. Now, during the said emergency sitting, the first motion that was passed was a MOTION OF CONFIDENCE towards Nizar and NOT THE MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE AGAINST NIZAR. So, when the majority still have confidence in Nizar as the MB of Perak, Nizar has not fulfilled the precondition set out in Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution and as such, any request by Nizar for the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly pursuant to the motions passed during the emergency sitting does not hold water. With that, the second motion passed yesterday does not hold water as well.
The case of Datuk Amir Kahar was decided by the High Court and till today, there is no case that overruled that case. However, the position may change if the Federal Court differs its opinion from Datuk Amir Kahar's case, as it has the power to do so. But for now, Datuk Amir Kahar's case stands.
Enough with the above, I would like now to reproduce the press statement made by Pairin Kitingan on 17th March 1994 (and how I wish that Nizar would follow Pairin's footstep in stepping down gracefully) (the bold is mine): -
Events in the last few days have forced a situation where we must tread carefully to avoid a further deterioration of the political situation. The turn of events have brought about a situation much different from that of 21 February 1994 when I was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Sabah after the Parti Bersatu Sabah had won 25 seats. With the appointment of the six nominated Assemblymen the total was brought to 31 seats. The situation is now reversed with the Barisan Nasional having the majority of 33 seats to PBS's 21 thus paving the way for it to form the next government.

By convention, the Chief Minister will have to resign if the ruling party no longer has the majority support of the Assemblymen. Under the present circumstances, where the PBS majority is greatly reduced with the mass exodus of its Assemblymen to the BN, my position as Chief Minister is no longer tenable. Having taken all matters into consideration, I have, therefore, decided to resign from the post of Chief Minister.
It is a sad decision for me but nonetheless I truly feel this is the most honourable thing to do under the present circumstances. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you for your full support to ensure Parti Bersatu Sabah's victory in the just concluded state elections.
We truly appreciated your mandate to give us another chance to govern the state.
In the context of what has transpired over the last few days, it is clear that some changes have occurred that tipped the balance of support in favour of the BN. I am now acknowledging the need to respond honourably to the situation. I made this decision to resign with a clear conscience and in the knowledge that I had tried to do my best for the people and the state in the past nine years.
As I offer my thanks and appreciation to the people of Sabah for giving us their trust and confidence, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the new Chief Minister and his government which will be formed today.
It is my hope too that the new government will continue to look after the interests of the people and the state and world to ensure a developed, progressive and just society.
I would also like to assure the new Chief Minister and his government that I will cooperate and do my part to serve the people and the state. I sincerely wish him all the best.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Big Blunder by Syed Hamid

Well, I must say with great relief that the gazette on the Internal Security (Prohibition on use of specific words on Document and Publication) Order 2009 has been revoked, effective today.

The Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar admitted that there were mistakes made in the drafting of the Feb 16 gazette which stated that Christian publications could use the word “Allah” provided the words “For Christians” were clearly printed on the front cover.

Ok, Syed Hamid admitted that it was a mistake. However, it is still mind boggling how such a mistake could happen? It is a shame. A big blunder on the part of the Home Ministry in particular and the government in general. I wonder if Syed Hamid Albar will be reprimanded by his boss? Hmmm...even his boss made blunder...flip flopping.

Take a look at the exact wording of the Feb 16th gazette here:

Prohibition on use of specific words on document and publication 2. (1) The printing, publication, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words “Allah”, “Kaabah”, “Baitullah” and “Solat” are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words “for christianity”.
(2) The words “for christianity ” referred to in subparagraph (1) shall be written clearly in font type Arial of size 16 in bold.
1. Well, looking at the exact wording of the gazette made me really wonder whether Syed Hamid read carefully the gazette before signing it or he just blindly signed it?

2. While Syed Hamid admitted his blunder, I wonder what was the purpose of having such a gazette at the first place?

3. If there were mistakes in the drafting of the gazette, what is the correct version?

To Syed Hamid, whatever excuse you may want to offer to the people, the damage has been done. The mistake is not in the drafting, but in having the stupid idea to issue the gazette at the first place.
In my previous posting, the title was "First Ban, Then Uplift with Condition, Next What? The answer to the question is Next Ban Again...