Rule of Law : Rais Yatim's intellectual dishonesty
Lim Kit Siang, Wednesday 15 Nov 2000
Deputy Speaker most unfair and irresponsible in not allowing the Opposition Mps thechance to expose the intellectually dishonest answers given by Rais on the rule of law during question time yesterday.
The Minister in the PrimeMinister’s Department, Datuk .Dr. RaisYatim gave the most intellectuallydishonest answers about the rule of law inParliament during question time yesterday but the Deputy Speaker Dato' HajiMuhamad bin Abdullah was most unfair and irresponsible in not allowing anyOpposition MP the chance to expose Rais’intellectual dishonesty.Rais said that the concepts of ‘
rule of law
'as well as ‘
rule by law'
were practised inMalaysia with adjustments to suit thecountry's characteristics.Quoting a maxim of well-known jurist,Rosenhoff, that the ‘rule of law' is aconcept based on the balance of power andadministration which focuses on achieving justice for all, Rais said:
"But this is a universal view and needs to be adjusted and moulded in order to fit thecharacteristics of an individualcountry." (Malaysiakini 14.11.00)
Rais said many countries includingMalaysia's neighbours practised bothconcepts in meeting the needs of emergency and security laws.He said that the ‘
rule of law
' was thecentral theme of the country's legalfoundation and its tenets were found inArticles 121, 122 and 8 of the FederalConstitution, he added.Rais said all parties must abide by theseArticles to ensure that Malaysians enjoythe protection of judicial and lawenforcement agencies.Rais was being intellectually dishonest intrying to claim that there is rule of law inMalaysia when in his 1995 book "
Freedom under Executive Power inMalaysia
", based on his research andstudy from 1991 and 1994 at King’sCollege, University of London, he wasvery categorical and unequivocal inasserting that the rule of law had beensuperseded by the rule by law in Malaysia.This is what Rais wrote in his book:
"The future for the rule of lawand human rights in Malaysia isdismal. Rule by law and not ruleof law supersedes and takes priority in most aspects of rulingthe people. The decline of therule of law and human rights in Malaysia can be traced to thecorrupted notion of democracywhich the executive holds. It has been suggested that in Malaysiahuman rights and the rule of laware precepts peculiar to the Westwhich, so the imputation goes, itis inappropriate to apply in Malaysia. This should be seen as asevere distortion because humanrights and the rule of law are nolonger within the confines of thegeo-political parameters of eachcountry. They are now universalrights."
Rais was also very categorical andunequivocal in his assertion that there wasno independence of the judiciary inMalaysia. This is what he wrote in his book:
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