Jul 25: PAS research head Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad took to task UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin for “trivialising” yesterday’s judgement in favour of Bersih, saying it only showed an ignorance about the legal and judicial system.
“He should be aware that in the common law legal system, when a superior court hands down judgement, its ruling becomes law (stare decisis – Common Law) unless it collides or is superceded by an act of parliament?” said Dzulkefly in his response to Khairy’s statement.
Khairy had reportedly said that the declaration by the Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday that Bersih was a legal entity “did not mean that the actions of those at the Bersih rally are legal”.
Dzulkefly reminded a chore argument in the judgement pointing out to actions by the government which contrasted Home minister Hishamuddin Hussein’s public vilification of Bersih as an illegal organisation. He added that not only the “illegal” organisation had been allowed by police to organise its third rally last April, its leader was also granted an audience with the Agong.
He said Khairy was being “presumptuous” in accusing rally goers, and pointed out the government’s hesitation in going public with video evidences which it claimed would prove that Bersih protesters had been violent.
“That delay (in broadcasting the videos) shows that the government is chickening out from proving in court the allegations thrown at Bersih protesters,” said Dzulkefly.
Reacting to the judgement, Khairy also hit out at the opposition, saying they would hail the courts as independent only when a certain decision worked in their favour.
“But today the ruling is in their favour and they did not say anything,” Khairy was quoted by Malaysiakini.
But Dzulkefly said the independence of the judiciary in the aftermath of the judgement still remained to be seen, as past instances had proven how the authorities snubbed court rulings.
He also warned of “possible interference” by the government should the Attorney General decide to appeal, and dismissed suggestions by some that the judgement was proof of the country’s judicial independence.
“After all, a swallow doesn’t make a summer,” he quipped.