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Constitutional Review

It is in the nature of Constitutions that there are severe obstacles to any changes to them. In democratic societies that makes sense and those that have a written Constitution usually provide that at least a two thirds majority is required to support any proposed amendment.

It was with this principle in mind that the British inserted such a clause in the Constitution of Malaya and later Malaysia. However checks and balances in a Constitution can only work so long as the democratic system works. The British can either be blamed for failing to notice that communal considerations, plus a racial majority, would probably lead to parliaments where the required two-thirds majority would exist. Or, more probably, they realised that and let it stand anyway.

Having installed the mechanisms, legal and otherwise, against electoral fraud they simply ignored that generations of successor politicians would subvert the democratic process by bribery, intimidation and gerrymandering which would be permitted by all the Institutions of State set up to prevent such happenings.

This is what has led to a High court Judge in Malaysia having to find that the actions of the Attorney General cannot be called in question in the Courts because of the relevant provision of the Constitution. All well and good if the Attorney General is an honest man applying the law strictly. But Apandi?

Here is a man who is so stupid, and dishonest, that while “clearing” the Prime Minister of his many crimes chose to do so at a Press conference at which he held up documents which proved conclusively that the Prime Minister is a major criminal! The Constitution provides that Attorneys General are appointed “by the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. It also provides that they hold office “at the pleasure of the Agong”

The history of Apandi’s appointment is curious to say the least. There was an Attorney General in office who authorised an application for a warrant for Najib’s arrest. The morning after he had done that he arrived to find his Chambers invaded by Special Branch thugs who told him he had been sacked and refused even to allow him to enter his office. Did the Agong notify that the “pleasure” had expired during the night? Did he get up early so as to accept the recommendation by Najib that Apandi be appointed?

All nonsense of course. Najib simply abused his power over the Police to shut down the threat of his arrest; something he had only come to know about because the Inspector General of Police abused his office to leak news of the impending arrest warrant to Najib. This is what happens in a gangster State such as Malaysia has now become.

How is it that the former colonial Power, which maintains a big diplomatic presence in Kuala Lumpur, has managed to shut its eyes to all this gross abuse of the Constitution that it imposed?

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