Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Utusan Malaysia Journalist - Obtuse?

I once blogged about how Obtuse Ibrahim Ali & Zulkifli Nordin were. But today, this Utusan Malaysia journalist takes the cake. 

The Journalist was the Prosecution first witness in a Sedition charge against Karpal Singh. Karpal had, during the Perak fiasco in February, made a statement that the Sultan of Perak had acted ultra vires the Perak Constitution. Apparently, this Utusan Malaysia journalist thought Karpal had insulted the Sultan when Karpal used the word 'Ultra Vires'.

In the Malaysian Insider report, the Journalist by the name of Mohd Nizam Bin Mohd Yatim was quoted to say these:- 

"Mohd Nizam: “Although the orders have been confirmed by the Sultan. If the decision is ultra vires then the decision can be adjudicated by the court.”

Jagdeep then asked Nizam to explain what ultra vires means to the court.

Nizam looking confused and replied: “To insult.”

Jagdeep then told Mohd Nizam that his misunderstanding of the word had caused chaos in the country because the word actually means “beyond the powers”."

What a brilliant answer. Ultra Vires is a latin phrase to mean acting beyond the power given. But this 'hero' from Utusan Malaysia thought that phrase means to insult.

If he is the Prosecution's first witness (and strongest witness?) then I wonder what kind of investigation did the Police and AG did before they initiated this Suit.

So there we have it, the top Malay language paper in Malaysia, having a journalist who cant even understand a simple Latin phrase used in daily legal work. The 'champion' fellow could have just picked up a phone and asked one of the lawyers, and the lawyer would have probably given him the correct definition to that phrase.

So we have Karpal facing charges for Sedition because this hero of a journalist from Utusan Malaysia, thought Karpal was insulting Sultan Perak with that Ultra Vires. 

But, what do you expect from an Obtuse newspaper like Utusan? Of course, the answer is simple - equally Obtuse Journalist. 


Anonymous said...

must be the ikan bilis..

nesz73 said...

I do agree UM kind of a sleazy newspaper but to accuse someone of being ignorant to a Latin word is totally bias. Not everyone is educated in Latin or Law. There are journalists with agenda and there are also true ones.

Richard Wee said...


The problem is, the Journalist lodged a complain that the Karpal made seditious statements, based on that word 'Ultra Vires'

If he wants to lodge a complain, he must check before he does so. A man is being charged for what is an incorrect misunderstanding of that word.

Also, as I mention- as a Journalist, he must check his facts before lodging a complain. To check first, is a trait of a good journalist.

There is no issue of bias, If a person points a finger at you, he must make sure he knows his facts before he does so. Words like Ultra Vires may be latin, but can easily be checked. It is used very very commonly in Legal Firms and other Government Administration process.

Thanks for leaving a comment here.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm isn't this a criminal case? Surely the DPP in charge would know better?


Richard Wee said...

There is a possibility Teoh that the DPP knows about this but went on with the Prosecution, cos, wel.. it's Karpal after all.

It is always fun to sue or charge the Opposition leader in a wheel chair, every now and then..