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Rule of Law - Rais Yatim's intellectual dishonesty

Rule of Law - Rais Yatim's intellectual dishonesty

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Published by openid_OtVX6n9h
Rais was being intellectually dishonest in trying to claim that there is rule of law in Malaysia when in his 1995 book "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia", based on his research and study from 1991 and 1994 at King’s College, University of London, he was very categorical and unequivocal in asserting that the rule of law had been superseded by the rule by law in Malaysia.
Rais was being intellectually dishonest in trying to claim that there is rule of law in Malaysia when in his 1995 book "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia", based on his research and study from 1991 and 1994 at King’s College, University of London, he was very categorical and unequivocal in asserting that the rule of law had been superseded by the rule by law in Malaysia.

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Published by: openid_OtVX6n9h on Jul 21, 2011
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07/21/2011

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Rule of Law : Rais Yatim's intellectual dishonesty
Media statement
by
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.
Petaling Jaya:
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 oemergency 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 boo"
 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:
Rule of Law : Rais Yatim's intellectual dishonesty 1/3
 
"The judiciary has lost its tusslewith the executive in controllingarbitrary executive power. Theexecutive that directly alters theaffairs and status quo of thejudiciary in a manner that the Malaysian executive has done isindeed a rarity and its mode ofattack on the Malaysian judiciaryin 1988 is not known to be practised in the liberaldemocratic world. But again one must understand, Malaysia is not aliberal democratic country."
 
"The executive has come to occupya truly supreme position thatrenders the other segments ofgovernment - Parliament and thejudiciary - subservient to it."
Rais used very harsh terms to express hiscontempt for Parliament’s failure to protect the rule of law and fundamentalfreedoms and instead, "aided and abettedin their serious violations", when hewrote:
"With an overwhelming majority inParliament of the same political party since Merdeka in 1957 it hasnow become a misconception toregard the Malaysian Parliament asthe safeguard of rights anfreedoms. In many respects thatinstitution is the issuer oflicence to violate freedoms."
I was particularly drawn by hislamentation about the culture of fear andthe lack of understanding and appreciationof the rule of law by the Malaysian people,especially as he has now personified thevery culture of subservience and servilitywhich he had condemned in his book,when he wrote:
"Equally perplexing has been theseemingly calm and patronisingattitude of the Malaysian peoplein facing and accepting theseexcesses vis-a-vis their rights.It is as if Malaysians have losttouch with their basic rights in acountry that prides itself in being democratic and leading the voice of liberation within thethird world countries. Even withthe increasing number of the youngand well-educated in the countrythere appears to be littleinterest in the importance ofcivil liberties. We have noted howexcessive executive powers,omnipresent and far-reaching asthey have been, have rendered constitutional freedoms meaningless. And yet there appearsto be little or no resistance from the man on the street to counterthese inroads. There can be onlyone explanation to this: theculture of fear has set in. Theunderlying fear of executivereprisal has slowly but surelyreduced Malaysians into beingreluctantly submissive in manyrespects of their daily life."
The state of the rule of law, theindependence of the judiciary,Parliament’s role as the safeguard of rightsand freedoms, human rights anddemocracy have gravely worsened sincethe publication of Rais’ "Freedom under Executive Power in Malaysia", exposingthe country to a slew of unfavourableinternational assessments which damagedthe country’s international standing and jeopardised the long-term nationaleconomic wellbeing of Malaysians bydriving away international investors fromthe country.The recent slew of unfavourableinternational assessments for Malaysiaincludes the damning 2001 Index of Economic Freedom where Malaysiadropped 57 places in the past six yearsfrom the 18th position in the 1995 index tothe 75th position in the 2001 Index andslipped from "
mostly free
" to the "
mostlyunfree
" category; the World EconomicForum (WEF)s 2000 globalcompetitiveness ranking showing acatastrophic collapse in Malaysia’sinternational competitiveness rating,falling by nine notches in the past year or 16 places in the past three years;Transparency Internationals 2000Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)ranking Malaysia at the lowest placingever at the 36th in 2000 as compared to
Rule of Law : Rais Yatim's intellectual dishonesty 2/3

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