Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Circus, called 'Parliament'

One would expect Parliament to be a place for quality debates which will benefit Malaysia as a whole.

Instead, incidents at Parliament in the last few days, shows us how low we have gone. The shouting matches, the mud-sliging, the daily ‘revelation’ by Members of Parliament (MP), are just too much to take.

Parliament by definition, is a place of the People. It is a place where our most important rights are defended and protected. The representatives elected to sit in Parliament are defenders of our rights and custodians of our civil liberties.

Laws are passed in Parliaments and the debates must always be for the benefit of the People and the Country.

But just a few days ago, we see MPs who recently left the opposition front, revealing how the opposition leader planned a take over in Parliament. Another MP was throwing tantrum (and papers) on why he has little time to speak. Another Independent MP, also formerly from the Opposition front, chose to discuss about a murder involving a Mongolian lady whilst debating about King’s opening speech.

What has all these got to do with the People’s rights? What has these revelations got to do with our civil liberties? By throwing tantrums and throwing papers here and there in Parliament, how does that improve our law?

Malaysian Parliament is nothing more that a circus of politics. The MPs give the impression that they don’t care about the people, they don’t care about the country. There is a severe lack in quality in the debates, and a severe lack of intellectualism in that august house.

The People of Malaysia must be vigilant when we vote again, in a few years time. We must vote against obtuse people, selfish people, racists people.

When we vote, we must demand for quality and intellectualism. We must demand for honesty and modesty. We must demand for integrity and morality. We must reject these MPs who have proven time and again that they only care about themselves.

We must revolutionise Parliament, for Parliament belongs to us and not to these MPs.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Richard Wee & Yip (RWY)

Recently Messrs RWL underwent a change of names. 2 of our partners left. Some partnerships break up every now and then; but some partnerships do last a long time. RWL could not last as long as we wanted it to.

I suppose I am still trying to find that one right partner, and in my buddy, Yip Huen Weng; I think we gel in well. Unfortunately my experience with my former partners have left me somewhat careful with what I feel about partnership. I genuinely believed the last partnership was 'the one', and Yip who joined that former partnership in late December was the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

But alas, it was not to be as the partnership broke up on 29th January 2010. So its just Yip and I for the moment. And to be fair to Yip, he has been a brilliant partner. We are reminded of our good old days in David Lingam & Co, when he and I co-led the Litigation Department. We left DL & Co in 2003 and 2004 respectively, with me setting up TS Wee & Co in 2003.

Whilst we were both in separate firms, we continued to work on certain matters. Somehow, I think we both knew it was a matter of time, we will work in one firm again.

So when Yip agreed to join RWL last year, I was elated as we now have genuine quality in the firm to compliment Sunil, Karen and I.

That however, is now history. I really hope that this is it! No more change of name etc. Yip and I now will chart our course, and we will build our bridges as we move ahead and move forward. We are now known as RWY.

Richard Wee & Yip - Bridging Gaps

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Right to see a Lawyer

People of Malaysia may not be fully aware that they have a right to a Solicitor when detained by the authorities. Under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Constitution guarantees the right to a detained person to see his/her Solicitor.

A more specific area of law is Section 28A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). In Section 28A, the law explains at which point does a person detained, can call upon a solicitor. Quoted below is the entire Section 28A of the CPC.

Section 28A CPC

(1) A person arrested without a warrant, shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrest by the police officer making the arrest.

(2) A police officer shall before commencing any form of questioning or recording of any statement from the person arrested, inform the person that he may :-

(a) communicate or attempt to communicate, with a relative or friend to inform of his whereabouts;


(b) communicate or attempt to communicate and consult with a legal practitioner of his choice.

(3) Where the person arrested wishes to communicate or attempt to communicate with the persons referred to in paragraphs (2)(a) and (b), the police officer shall, as soon as may be, allow the arrested person to do so.

(4) Where the person arrested has requested for a legal practitioner to be consulted the police officer shall allow a reasonable time-

(i) for the legal practitioner to be present to meet the person arrested at his place of detention;


(ii) for the consultation to take place.

(5) The consultation under subsection (4b) shall be within the sight of a police officer and in circumstances, in so far as practicable, where their communication will not be over heard

(6) The police officer shall defer any questioning or recording of any statement from the person arrested for a reasonable time until the communication or attempted communication under paragraph 2(b) or the consultation under subsection (4), has been made;

(7) The police officer shall provide reasonable facilities for the communication and consultation under this section and all such facilities provided shall be free of charge.

(8) The requirements under subsections (2) and (3) shall not apply where the police officer reasonably believes that-

(a) compliance with any of the requirements is likely to result in-

(i) an accomplice of the person arrested taking steps to avoid apprehension; or

(ii) the concealment, fabrication or destruction of evidence or the intimidation of a witness; or

(b) having regard to the safety of other persons the questioning or recording of any statement is so urgent that it should not be delayed.

(9) Subsection (8) shall only apply upon authorization by a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

(10) The police officer giving the authorization under paragraph (9) shall record the grounds of belief of the police officer that the conditions specified under subsection (8) will arise and such record shall be made as soon as practicable.

(11) The investigating officer shall comply with the requirements under subsections (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7) as soon as possible after conditions specified under subsection (4) have ceased to apply where the person arrested is still under detention under this section or under section 117.

The General rule is very simple - a person arrested, can always call upon a Lawyer. The people must be made aware of this fundamental right. The moment a person is arrested by the police, the person must firstly be informed that the person is arrested, and for which crime (if any); and immediately must be accorded that right to meet a Solicitor.

The Police may deny the arrested person that right, only if Section 28A (8) above applies.

Nonetheless, Section 28A (8) is an exception to the said general rule above.

So, if you are ever arrested by (for example) the Police, inform the Police you wish to activate your rights under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution and you wish to meet a lawyer as soon as possible, as per S28A CPC. If the Police deny you that right, you may demand to lodge a Police Report against the Police, or later upon release, lodge a complaint with SUHAKAM. You may also contact the Bar Council.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Malaysian Bar AGM & Annual Dinner

The Malaysian Bar AGM is coming up this Saturday at Legends Hotel, KL' at 9.00 am. Check out the Malaysian Bar website for the Annual Report.

The AGM will be followed by the Annual Bar Dinner at Royal Chulan Hotel at KL. Dineer starts at 730 pm.