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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie taking a stroll at the Butterfly Park in Teluk Bahang, Penang, yesterday. Blair is in Malaysia to deliver a speech at the 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Law Lecture in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. – Picture courtesy of Sim Piah Ngan
(c) The Star (used by permission)
PETALING JAYA: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will speak on the rule of law and good governance at the 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Law Lecture in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Blair will be following in the footsteps of his wife, Cherie, who spoke on The Role of the Judge in a Human Rights World at the same lecture series in 2005. Blair was Prime Minister from May 1997 until June last year, when he stepped down to make way for Gordon Brown.
After graduating from Oxford in 1976 with a Second Class Honours BA in Jurisprudence, Blair became a member of Lincoln’s Inn, where he enrolled as a pupil barrister and met his future wife, Cherie Booth.
Blair was elected Leader of the Labour Party in July 1994 following the sudden death of his predecessor John Smith. Under his leadership, Labour won a landslide victory in the 1997 general election, ending 18 years of rule by the Conservative Party.
Blair was Labour’s longest-serving Prime Minister and the only leader to have taken the party to three consecutive general election victories. The lecture series is named after the Sultan of Perak and one-time Lord President of the Federal Court.
©New Straits Times (Used by permission)
by V. Anbalagan
Bar Council criminal practice committee chairman Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said at present, lawyers were only assigned to accused who faced a charge that carried the death penalty at the trial stage.
When an appeal is made after conviction, whether by the accused or prosecution, the appellant does not get a state-funded counsel to plead for him.
Hisham said the court must assign a lawyer irrespective of whether the convicted person or the public prosecutor was appealing.
He said his committee would discuss this matter at its monthly meeting on Aug 8 and make the necessary recommendations to the authorities.
Over the past two weeks, the Court of Appeal has either dismissed appeals or enhanced sentences of appellants who were unrepresented.
Retired Court of Appeal judge Datuk K.C. Vohrah said the right to counsel should be seen from the human rights perspective.
"A lay person who is unrepresented will not know the law and principle of sentencing before a panel of judges," said the former human rights commissioner.
Lawyer Gurbachan Singh said convicted persons who appealed usually made a one-line submission that they wanted sentence to be reduced.
He suggested that courts request any lawyer present to act as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to help mitigate for the appellant.
Kuala Lumpur Bar criminal practice committee chairman Datuk N. Sivananthan said the current adversarial system appeared to look like justice when it was only accessible to those with financial means.
He called for those charged in the Sessions Court with firearms possession, which carried natural life imprisonment, be accorded counsel as technical and scientific evidence needed to be adduced.
"This offence carries a strict mandatory sentence. It is either the person gets acquitted or convicted and there is no provision for a reduction in the charge."
He said this was the only offence in which the convicted person, unless he obtained a royal pardon, would die in prison.
This punishment, he said, was far worse than those convicted of drug possession and culpable homicide which carried a jail sentence of up to 30 years.
"After the one-third remission, those convicted can leave prison after serving 20 years."
Lawyer M. Kulasegaran, however, wants the high-powered implementation committee chaired by de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim to ensure that all persons charged be assigned counsel when the plea bargaining system comes into force soon.
(Plea bargains are negotiated agreements between the defence and prosecution on condition that an accused agrees to plead guilty to a specified charge in exchange for an oral promise of a lower sentence.)
“The assurance by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to Pakatan Rakyat partners (Parti Keadilan Rakyat and DAP), that PAS will not abandon the alliance to join the BN, is not bona fide and is not supported by past events,” DAP chairman Singh said in a statement yesterday. “After the March 8 general elections, PAS had talks with Umno to form a coalition government in Selangor. This was an act of bad faith as both DAP and PKR were not informed of such a move by PAS.” - Today Online
Here it is, another move by Mr. Karpal. He wants Pakatan Rakyat to relook PAS membership’s in the coalition. It was really disgusting especially for the ancient politician like him right?
Did he ever realize what the people really demand right now? Instead of saying PAS is not credible, which sources did he found substantiated and first information reports with regard to UMNO-PAS secret talk issues? Did he have a clear picture about this?
In fact, every Malaysian is waiting to see changes after the unprecedented March 8 electoral victory by the opposition.
But, alas, many of us are now disappointed to see our 'saviours' still busy politicking rather than working towards realising their election promises.
People voted for DAP, PKR, PAS not because they are DAP, PKR or PAS; but because people want CHANGE, and CHANGE FOR THE BETTER. What is the use of DAP, PKR, PAS to the people who voted them in, if these parties are no different from B.N.??
Precisely now, people are seeing that DAP behaves and acts like MCA and PAS, like UMNO.
People are beginning to ask: WHAT IS THE POINT?
Perhaps, what the Opposition parties sorely need are coalition makers, not coalition breakers.
Let the people judge. Meanwhile, I end with this Latin quotation:
Veritas temporis filia (Truth is the daughter of time).
"And, keeping in mind the right of everyone to education, the amendment has also taken into consideration the rights of politicians who may want to further their studies in public universities"
"Although a student is not allowed to be a member of a political party, the vice-chancellor may give exemption to any politician who wishes to become a student in the university, thus enabling any serving politician to enroll for a course at a university without giving up his political career" - Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin
"If you want to negotiate, lets negotiate. There is no need to encroach, no need to test the market or our waters." - Rais Yatim on Singapore Senior Minister of State Balaji Sadasivan's remarks about the republic wanting to claim territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone around Pedra Branca.
Prof Dr Abdul Ghafur Hamid, international law lecturer at the International Islamic University, said the move was contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
UNCLOS stated that rocks which could not sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, he said.
As such, he said, Malaysia must without delay officially protest in the strongest terms to the Singaporean move to unilaterally claim 12 miles of territorial sea and 200 miles of EEZ, he told Bernama.
Abdul Ghafur was asked to comment on a statement in parliament by Singapore's Senior Minister of State Balaji Sadasivan yesterday that the country had a territorial sea limit that extended up to a maximum of 12 nautical miles and an EEZ which was consistent with UNCLOS of Dec 10 1982, to which Singapore was a party.
Abdul Ghafur said: "In areas where there are overlapping claims, unilateral claim is unlawful and cannot be successful. However, official protest is crucial in international law because without any protest it may later on constitute "acquiescence".
"Malaysia needs to demonstrate very strong opposition to this move and, if it persists, even counter measures should not be ruled out," he said in an e-mail interview.
Abdul Ghafur said Article 15 of UCLOS stated that "where the coasts of two states are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of the two states is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line, every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two states is measured.
"The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two states in a way which is at variance therewith," he said.
Article 15 meant that the neighbouring countries must delimit their territorial seas by agreement and no state can claim beyond the 'median line' based on an equidistance formula, he added.
Touching on Article 121 (3) of UNCLOS, which stated that rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, he said: "Although the convention does not define the phrases "human habitation" and "economic life", the better view is that they refer to natural resources of the feature in question and not to artificial additions.
"Batu Puteh is simply a tiny granite rock with no plants and trees and water resources. It is, therefore, very much questionable to claim a 200-mile EEZ from it," he added.
Abdul Ghafur said the best solution was to negotiate a win-win situation since the national interests of both countries were so closely intertwined.
"Even if there was not a decision in the Joint Technical Committee not to take any unilateral action, Singapore cannot initiate such a claim because the national interests of the two countries in that area are so closely intertwined," he said.
Meanwhile, the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA), in a statement issued here today, said that following the judgement by the ICJ on the rocky outcrop, both governments had agreed to examine the issue of the maritime boundary and activities in the vicinity of Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge, and a joint technical committee between both countries had been established to resolve the related issues.c
"As such, Singapore's EEZ claim is contrary to the spirit of the agreement and could be seen as undermining the work of the Joint Technical Committee and eroding the goodwill established between the parties to the case following the ICJ decision on 23 May 2008.
"A better approach would be for the governments to direct the Joint Technical Committee to address the issue," it said.
The ICJ, in its judgement, found that Singapore has sovereignty over Batu Puteh and that Malaysia has sovereignty over another outcrop, Middle Rocks, and that sovereignty over a third outcrop, South Ledge, belongs to the country in the territorial waters of which it is located.
Can we win over this tussle as we frequently been defeated against them?
There was drama, both inside and outside the court, during the continuation of submission in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial yesterday.
A policeman, Lance Corporal Othman Abdul Rahman collapsed at the side entrance of the High Court about 9am.
Othman and another policeman were taking Corporal Sirul Azhar, 32, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, 36 and political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, 48, to the fourth floor of the High Court where proceedings were being held.
They had taken the stairs from the ground floor.
Othman, 47, who has a history of heart problems and diabetes, collapsed and was taken to the National Heart Institute where he died.
Then later inside the courtroom, lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamarudin had a heated exchange with deputy public prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah with regard to the police witnesses and the accused persons.
A statement by Kamarul that the court should not believe the evidence of police witnesses as they were either lying or seemed to have forgotten certain events, irked Tun Abdul Majid.
The DPP retorted that if the prosecution witnesses were not telling the truth, so too were the accused.
Kamarul: If that is the case, then there is nothing to stand on.
DPP: Come on Kamarul, be fair to the prosecution and stop hurling unsubstantiated allegations.
Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yassin then calmed both men and said that Tun Abdul Majid would have his chance to reply.
The exchange took place when Kamarul, who is appearing for Sirul, said there were material contradictions in the evidence given by ASP Zulkarnain Samsuddin, Chief Inspector Koh Fei and Corporal Chiam Swee Guan.
It was at this juncture that Kamarul said they were lying.
The three policemen were in the team that went to Sirul's apartment in Kota Damansara after the accused allegedly offered information that led to the discovery of Altantuya's jewellery.
A trial-within a trial was earlier held to determine whether Sirul's statement that led to the discovery should be excluded as evidence.
Kamarul is now submitting at the close of the prosecution's case that there were different versions from witnesses as to what happened in the apartment.
"The evidence of the prosecution runs haywire and the stories of the policemen were not capable of being believed."
He said the court should believe the testimony of police photographer Lance Corporal Kamarolzaman Mat Noor who was seen as an independent witness.
He said Kamarolzaman who was outside the apartment was only asked to go in 15 minutes later to take pictures.
Kamarul said Zulkarnain who came out of the apartment had uttered "that the thing" had been discovered and ordered the photographer to take pictures.
"How did Zulkarnain know where the jewellery was if he had not anticipated it in advance?"
He said Kamarolzaman was then instructed to take shots of Sirul pointing towards a jacket in a cupboard.
"We submit that whatever statement made after the discovery of any item is no longer admissible in law," he said.
He said the scene was orchestrated as Sirul was posing when holding the jacket.
"A picture tells a thousand words," Kamarul said.
Sirul and Azilah, both members of the special action squad, are charged with murdering Altantuya at Mukim Bukit Raja, Selangor between 10pm on Oct 19 and 1am the following day.
Razak is charged with abetting them.
Hearing continues on Monday.
sementara orang lain ragu-ragu
sementara orang lain bermain-main
sementara orang lain tidur
sementara orang lain teragak-agak
sementara orang lain berangan-angan
sementara orang lain berlengah
sementara orang lain berharap-harap
sementara orang lain membazir
sementara orang lain bercakap
sementara orang lain mencemik
sementara orang lain mengkritik
sementara orang lain berundur
-William Arthur Ward