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Burning Embers of Change in DAP

Posted: 30 Sep 2013 08:01 PM PDT

The Iron Grip is Loosening
Regardless of whatever baloney pro-DAP media may spin, the heart of the matter is that that the delegates have sent a clear message to voice their discontent with Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng. Both of them had the BIGGEST drop in votes compared to the previous elections held in December 2012.

Lim Guan Eng tried to brush off the glaringly reduced number of votes that he received in the re-election today by a feeble proposition that it might be caused by a drop in the number of delegates who voted.

Last year during the CEC elections in Penang, there were 1,823 delegates present. This year, only 1,725 delegates voted. The reduction in attendance is only 5.3% whereas Lim Guan Eng's drop in votes secured in 17.2%, more than three times HIGHER than the drop in attendance!
In December 2012, Lim Guan Eng garnered 1576 votes but yesterday, he only secured 1304 votes –  a drop of 272 votes or -17.2%the highest decline of all twenty candidates.

Lim Kit Siang won 1607 votes in 2012 but only received 1436 votes yesterday – a decline of 171 votes or -10.64% decrease, the second highest drop in votes of all twenty candidates.
The fact that 1, 725 voters chose to vote this way instead of endorsing Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng via higher votes is indicative of DAP delegates rising to the clarion call that the Lim Dynasty must end.



Inequality of Arms: The Right to Disclosure in Malaysia by Bill Grimshaw

Posted: 30 Sep 2013 09:42 AM PDT

Reprieve Australia is a not-for-profit organisation committed to the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. One of the things Reprieve Australia does is organise placements for volunteers whose role is to assist local lawyers as they defend accused people facing the death penalty. Carrie O'Shea and I are Australian criminal defence lawyers and Reprieve Australia volunteers. We are currently in KL doing some legal research we hope will be used to overcome or limit Malaysia's use of the death penalty.

Our research on the death penalty has led us to the unhappy subject of the Malaysian approach to disclosure in criminal trials. Disclosure of the prosecution case to the defence is one of the hallmarks of a fair trial. In Malaysia, as well as the rest of the common law world, a criminal trial is an adversarial proceeding in which one of the adversaries – the State – has far greater investigative resources and powers than its opponent, the accused. In order to be fairly tried, the accused must be given notice or disclosure of the case against him (it's usually a him), and be given proper opportunity to prepare a defence to it. This idea is known as the 'equality of arms' principle.

So does Malaysian law allow for proper disclosure in criminal trials? The polite answer is: There is much room for improvement. The blunt answer is: Absolutely not. And yes, this means people are being sent to the gallows without a fair trial.

A glance at the relevant law might give the impression that there's nothing to worry about. After all, in a recent case on disclosure, the Federal Court contained the following reassuring words:

"The principle of a fair trial is sacrosanct in all civilised legal jurisdictions. It is a principle of universal application. In Malaysia the principle of fair trial and fairness have been long established and recognised in several decisions.[1]"

So what's the problem? The courts have said that everyone gets a fair trial, so surely they do. If only that were true. Sadly, the very same cases in which the "sacrosanct" right to a fair trial is said to have been "long-established" maintain what seems to be a more dearly cherished rule:

"[The accused] is not entitled to know by what means the prosecution proposes to prove the facts underlying the charges he faces.[2]"

These startling words should not be found outside a policeman's wildest law-reform fantasies. They are tantamount to saying, "The accused is not entitled to a fair trial". So which judicial statement better reflects the Malaysian position on disclosure and the right to a fair trial? Is a fair trial really sacrosanct? Or when courts are asked to apply this principle, are they instead guided by the principle of non-disclosure of the prosecution case? I'm afraid a little scrutiny of the law shows that when it comes to disclosure, the first lofty statement about sacrosanct fair trials is merely used to distract from the true position: trial by ambush.

Trial by ambush is the opposite of a fair trial. It involves the defence discovering the prosecution case only as it unfolds in court. Although Malaysian criminal law makes some provision for disclosure of the prosecution case, Malaysian trials allow prosecutors too great a measure of surprise.

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