Malaysian Indian Minority & Human Rights Violations Annual Report 2010 in daily segments No. 15 (27/1/11)

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6.0 LAW JUSTICE AND THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION

6.1 An overview on the above in The USSD Report 2009:

Three constitutional articles provide the basis for an independent judiciary; however, other constitutional provisions, legislation restricting judicial review, and additional factors limited judicial independence and strengthened executive influence over the judiciary.

The constitution does not directly vest judicial powers in the courts but rather provides that Parliament confers judicial powers. The constitution also confers certain judicial powers on the attorney general, including the authority to instruct the courts on which cases to hear, the power to choose venues, and the right to discontinue cases.

The attorney general controlled and directed all criminal prosecutions and assumed responsibility for sessions court judge and magistrate judicial assignments and transfers. The Judicial Appointments Commission, created in December 2008, makes appointments of judges to the high court, Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court. Session and magistrate court judges report to the Attorney General’s Office.

HRP, Malaysia’s overview.

  • The Federal Court of Appeal ruled on the 20th of August 2010 that the Syariah Court is the proper court for a ruling on whether an individual is a Muslim or not. In the case of M.Moorthy who the Syariah court had ruled as a Muslim and whose religious status is contested by his wife Madam S Kaliammal, a non-muslim is left in a serious Legal limbo without any recourse since the Syariah Court has no jusrisdiction over non Muslims. The two judicial systems leaves almost 12 Million Minorities the minorities in the country without their due rights and the Government is in no mood to intervene to effectively correct this matter.
  • The Apex Court, the Federal Court continues to show its disregard for resolving fundamental issues of the religious rights of non-Muslim Minorities. On the 12th of November 2010 they refused to rule on key constitutional issues concerning the validity of the unilateral conversion of Madam Shamala’s children to Islam by her recently converted husband.
  • On the 9th of December, Lawyers and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal advisors P Uthayakumar and M Manoharan filed suits against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and five others over their arrest and detention without trial under the Internal Security Act in 2007 for 514 days in Kamunting, Perak.
  • Lawyer P Uthayakumar filed a notice of motion seeking an order that the Sedition Act 1948 is void in accordance with Article 4(1) of the Federal Constitution on the 24th of November 2010.
    Uthayakumar, 49, is also seeking to have the charge against him under the act to be suspended or revoked. Article 4(1) of the Federal Constitution states that the constitution is the supreme law of the country and any law passed after Merdeka Day, which is inconsistent with the constitution, shall, to the maximum extent of inconsistency, be void.

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